The future’s bright

Posted on 24 Jul 2010 by The Manufacturer

Tomorrow’s aviation stars are given inspiration and encouragement at Farnborough Airshow’s first Futures Day event.

Future’s Day was conceived this year by the Farnborough Airshow exhibition team in liaison with aerospace trade association ADS.

Airbus was the lead sponsor and a huge range of universities and industry representatives had stands in the dedicated pavilion, seizing the opportunity to communicate with and inspire young people visiting the show, displaying the excitement and interest they could find in a career in the aviation industry. Throughout the days the Futures Day was bustling with a positive atmosphere that indicates great success for the event in its first year.

As well as the exhibiting companies Futures Day also played host to a dynamic range of hands on events and competitions including displays from the Hampshire based Yateley School Build a Plane project, sponsored by Boeing, and the UK-US final of the tri-national Youth Rocketry Challenge which was sponsored primarily this year by specialist defence manufacturing group Chemring.

These interactive displays aimed to raise awareness of STEM skills and get children to think about how these core school subjects can be applied in the real world. Oliver Vass, a student at Yately School and a key member of the Build a Plane team said to TM: “The whole project has been really exciting. Building a plane has really made me think about how I use subjects like science, technology and maths. It has also made me better at those subjects in an academic way and helped me to do better in my exams because I am can understand what all the learning really means.

“Build a Plane and visiting Futures Day have really inspired me and I would definitely love to have a career that involved making things in the aviation industry.”

In an attempt to link aerospace opportunities to broader socio economic interests that children would be familiar with Futures Day participants were encouraged to show the challenges and benefits to be gained through helping research and create engineering solutions to mitigate climate change and advance green technology.

On being asked how important they felt making these kinds of links was in attracting young talent an ADS spokesperson said: “Aviation needs to deliver on environmental improvements. There is a lot of research being done and progress made. In the UK we have an initiative called Sustainable Aviation which has published a CO2 roadmap showing how we can meet the predicted threefold rise in passenger demand while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions back to 2000 levels, exceeding government targets to return to 2005 levels.”

“We will need the bright young minds of today, who are generally keen to tackle climate change, to deliver those benefits tomorrow. When young people see the fantastic careers and contributions they can make to crucial issues like climate change, supporting our troops, keeping citizens safe and boosting our economy we’re certain their enthusiasm will grow naturally.”