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kickSTART 2017

Project Kickstart is being piloted at RAF Cosford. Kickstart is a project designed to give the RAF's newly qualified engineering officers the skills and confidence to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) among young people when they get to their first units. Alongside their formal engineering training they are giving their own time to learn what it takes to become STEM Ambassadors and what they will need to do to start clubs like the one at Cosford wherever they go next. With the requisite training, experience and a Kickstart kit the engineering officers will be ready to promote the STEM wherever they find themselves on their first tour.

The success of the project is down to the drive of Cosford's current STEM Ambassadors to spread their work across the RAF, to the generosity of the micro:bit foundation and the the huge support of Tablet Academy Uk in securing the kits used in many activities.

Flying Officer Clare Garside, one of Cosford's RAF Engineering Officer students said: 'I got involved in STEM to help inspire young people to get into engineering and promote women in the RAF and engineering.' Another student, Flying Officer Claire Barker, said that she 'enjoyed breaking the stigmas surrounding engineering as a career.'

Flying Officer Cameron Stewart, who has been on his engineering course for 3 months, acknowledged that while larger projects such as the Bloodhound Supersonic Car can inspire young people to get involved in STEM activities, it is 'smaller enterprises like the Cosford Coding Club that give hands on experience.'

Project Kickstart isn't just about coding though and the officers are shown many different STEM activities such as how to teach children to build rocket cars and gliders. I'm sure that they are all going to have great fun taking their new STEM Ambassador skills wherever their RAF careers take them.

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