FIA 2012: 7,500 school and university students flock into Farnborough to find their future
The Farnborough International Airshow today hosted 7,500 students, aged 11 – 21, from 200 schools and universities from all parts of the UK to a day of fun, learning and engagement with astronauts, pilots, engineers and scientists.
Futures Day, with Airbus as the main sponsor and organised by ADS, invited the UK’s young people to experience first hand the career opportunities in the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors. The day was opened by Jem Stansfield, presenter of BBC's Bang goes the Theory, astronaut Tim Peake, Allan Cook, chairman of SELEX Galileo, and Airbus' young apprentice of the year Lucinda Dancer.
Jem Stansfield, presenter of BBC's Bang goes the Theory
"Everyone I've spoken to has been so interesting," said Stansfield. "Engineering is the most incredibly useful tool."
"We have an incredibly exciting space industry at the moment," Peake told the students.
Cook added: "By 2030 we're going to be employing around 150-170,000 people, just in the space industry, in addition to what we're doing in the aerospace sector.
"This is where your future is," he told the students. "Become the engineers of the future, that is what we want you to be."
Jem Stansfield, presenter of BBC's Bang goes the Theory, astronaut Tim Peake, Airbus' young apprentice of the year Lucinda Dancer and Allan Cook, chairman of SELEX Galileo.
Students were able to visit and engage with the 1,500 exhibitors at the show. In addition to a series of 18-mini conferences, an opportunity to meet apprentices and graduates who have recently joined the industry, and the International Rocketry Challenge held between teams from the UK, US and France all featured in the programme for the day.
First held in 2008 at the Farnborough International Airshow, participation in Futures Day has more than doubled each show to now involve 7,500 students. The centre of the day’s events was the Innovation Zone, a first for the Farnborough Airshow and opened by David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science on the opening Tuesday morning.
Students were also able to explore one of five trails around the site taking in the Space Zone (itself having doubled in size since 2010), a Spy trail involving the new Aviation Security Zone, a Heritage Trail, an Aircraft Trail and a Careers Trail. Other areas of interest include: Boeing’s Build a Plane project which features two aircraft built by students; a scale replica with full working parts of a Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine which powers the Boeing 787 made up entirely from 152,455 LEGO components; and a replica of Vostok, Yuri Gagarin's (the first man in space) space craft.
Futures Day is the largest youth engagement programme that ADS undertakes and involves significant support through many sponsors including Rolls-Royce, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, Unite the Union and SEMTA.
Graham Chisnall, DCEO and MD aerospace at ADS, said: “Futures Day is my personal highlight for the week of Farnborough – despite our intemperate summer weather there is no dampening the huge enthusiasm for our high technology high value industries and 7,500 students of all ages have had a great day exploring and learning about the brilliant opportunities that they can look forward to taking part in the success stories that are our member companies.
“I would like to personally thank all of our sponsors and supporters that have turned out in force to make this day such a huge success.”