Tim Peake joins mission to inspire future engineers as The Holiday Makers challenge blasts off at Farnborough Airshow

Science and Innovation

July 20
13:20 2018

  • Tim Peake joins physicist and star of BBC Twos Astronauts: do you have what it takes? Dr Suzie Imber to launch The Holiday Makers summer holiday campaign at Farnborough International Airshow and highlight the vital role engineers play in the UKs growing space industry
  • the campaign aims to get children making, inventing and exploring engineering through a series of free family-friendly activities, events and challenges, as part of the governments Year of Engineering

Schoolchildren at Farnborough International Airshow were today (20 July 2018) treated to a science lesson from the stars as British astronaut Tim Peake kicked off a national summer holiday campaign to help kids discover what they could achieve as engineers.

The Holiday Makers will encourage children to explore the world of engineering through fun activities, events and weekly challenges. The campaign is part of the governments Year of Engineering, which is working with partners across the UK to bring young people face to face with engineering experiences and role models transforming perceptions of the profession and tackling a major shortage of engineers in the UK.

Tim Peake and children recreate an experiment to understand more about the surface of planets.

Launching the campaign, Tim Peake joined Dr Suzie Imber (Associate Professor of Space Physics at the University of Leicester and winner of BBC 2 show Astronauts: do you have what it takes?) to show schoolchildren the vital role engineers play in the UKs growing space industry.

Students were given the chance to recreate an experiment that helps us understand more about the surface of planets, and learnt about the Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer which Dr Imber is working on alongside engineers as part of Europes first mission to the planet Mercury later this year. Continuing the celebration of feats of engineering, Tim Peake also joined the UK Space Agency as it launched a competition to name a rover which is being sent to Mars to search for signs of life.

Tim Peake and children recreate an experiment to understand how asteroids impact the surface of planets.

Transport Minister Baroness Sugg said:

From space missions to technology thats transforming the way we travel, engineers are the driving force behind everything were celebrating this week at Farnborough Airshow.

With funding for UK spaceports announced this week, this is a ground-breaking time for the industry with exciting implications for young peoples career aspirations and its vital that we show children from all backgrounds how they could be part of the innovations shaping our future.

Giving young people chances to create, solve problems and come face to face with engineering achievements and role models is at the heart of the campaign, so Im delighted to see that in action today as we call on families across the UK to get involved in The Holiday Makers this summer.

Baroness Sugg and children learn about the surface of planets.

Dr Suzie Imber, from the University of Leicesters Department of Physics and Astronomy, said:

Its always a delight to open young peoples eyes to how exciting engineering and science can be and the governments Year of Engineering campaign is a fantastic way that scientists like Tim and me can share some of the amazing research that is happening in labs across the country, and the vital role engineers play in this. Its been great to show them the work that the University of Leicester has done for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury, just one of the many ways that Leicester is establishing itself as the UKs space city.

Physicist Dr Suzie Imber explains the BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

There are lots of ways for families to get involved, from activities they can do at home or in the garden to workshops, exhibitions and challenges. Weekly challenges will be led by key partners including the RAF and the Science Museum. Children are encouraged to download a journal, collect badges and share what they have been doing for a chance to win some fantastic prizes. Activity ideas, an events map and Holiday Makers journal are all available at the Holiday Makers hub, and there will be lots of chances to get involved on social media using #TheHolidayMakers.

The Year of Engineering is a government campaign that aims to give young people aged 7 to 16 a million direct and inspiring experiences of engineering, challenging traditional perceptions and tackling a lack of diversity in the profession. The industry faces a shortage of 20,000 graduates every year, only 12% of UK engineers are women and fewer than 8% are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Farnborough International Airshow Futures Day is designed to encourage young people aged 11-21 to consider an exciting career in the aerospace sector.

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