Marshall inspires North Cambridge Academy students

Posted on 10 August, 2021 by Advance 

Marshall recently empowered 300 pupils at the North Cambridge Academy to discover careers in aeronautical design across two fun-fuelled days, testing the latest in combining virtual and hands-on learning as part of the college’s Experiences Week.

Image courtesy Marshall

Design Engineers and Apprentices from Marshall worked with Form the Future’s Cambridge LaunchPad programme to create a programme that took the Cambridge based students from learning the first principles of flight, through designing a glider, then building and flying their aircraft.

Lisa Taylor, Cambridge Launchpad Programme Manager said: “It’s been great to work with Marshall to use the best of remote teaching technology to get engineers into multiple classes at the same time, while still providing a hands-on experience for the students.”

The students were tasked with meeting key requirements for their aircraft, including that it feature controls such as rudder and ailerons and that it had to fly for three seconds. Working in teams and using a limited supply of card, paper cups and straws, they had to test and revise their ideas repeatedly.

Marshall were on-hand throughout to provide support and advice using a combination of live on-screen teaching and pre-recorded information.

Marshall Product Development Engineer, James Potter said: “The Covid restrictions have really effected the things children in schools get to experience and has meant we cannot run our STEM activities as we normally would. It was important for us to stay engaged and thanks to Form the Future, we got the chance to make up this virtual event. The school really took it in their stride and although we couldn’t be there in person or talk to the children, we got a sense of achievement knowing that they were enjoying it.”

After trial flight tests along corridors, the day culminated in outdoor launches. Some flights were more successful than others but each one represented a valuable learning experience.

A student summed up their day: “I really liked making it and planning what we were going to use when we designed it, but it was so frustrating when it wouldn't fly and kept breaking!”

Another added: “We were good at the teamwork. When it didn't fly we had to think together of how to fix it.”

The Cambridge LaunchPad programme is working with partner organisations such as Marshall to develop a library of digital and virtual resources, which will be available alongside in-person Project Days. Together, they link businesses with schools to inspire young people to consider careers in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Marshall are looking forward to continue providing the next generation an insight into the exciting opportunities available within the world of STEM while breaking down perceived barriers, perceptions and gender stereotypes.