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Gloucestershire Business News

Cyber defence firm inspires the next generation at virtual airshow

Gloucester based Raytheon UK is helping to introduce the next generation of innovators and potential engineers to the endless career opportunities that are available across the aerospace, defence and space sectors.

As part of this year's virtual Farnborough International Airshow, Farnborough Friday will stage its first ever virtual event supported by Raytheon UK, aimed at inspiring the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, or STEM, professionals.

The event, FIA Connect, will offer young people access to a virtual hub that includes guidance, inspirational speakers and materials to help address the skills gap in the industry.

As part of the program, Raytheon UK's STEM ambassadors have launched video workshops for young people that include Raytheon UK's flagship STEM programme, the Quadcopter Challenge.

The challenge has taken place over the last five years with more than 1,000 students from 50 schools, youth groups and cadet teams across the UK. The video provides insight into the skills the teams acquire and learn as they build quadcopters and compete at the national level each year. Each school team is tested on the skills that the UK's future engineers will need, including teamwork, innovation, creativity and problem solving.

The challenge tasks local school pupils and cadet teams to build and fly their own unique quadcopter with the support of over 200 STEM ambassadors across the country, who mentor the local teams throughout the competition providing technical and engineering support.

Last year, the competition saw pupils from across England, Scotland and Wales take part in the challenge, including county schools Denmark Road High School, Cheltenham College and The Crypt School.

Raytheon UK's engineering director and executive sponsor for STEM, Alex Rose-Parfitt said: "Farnborough Airshow is one of the biggest events for the industry, and we want to use Farnborough Friday as a platform to address the global skills gap. Young people should be encouraged by all the exciting opportunities that STEM has to offer, and Farnborough Friday can bring this to life and inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, mathematicians.

"It is unfortunate that this year so many pupils have missed out on opportunities due to the closure of schools and the cancelling of events in the STEM industry.

"This is why we have launched the Quadcopter Challenge videos, as an exciting way to engage young people and remotely challenge them as a reminder of the great career opportunities that are available through STEM subjects."

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