The school event “Solar Impulse – Around the World in a Solar Airplane”, which took place at easyJet’s Headquarters at London Luton Airport, UK, was a huge success. The two-hour visit brought together young students from local schools, experts from the aircraft and plastics industry and the local MP Gavin Shuker. Adrian Whyle - PlasticsEurope - and Richard Thommeret - Solvay - shared their expertise on materials and energy efficiency with around 150 students and their teachers.
When asked about the pedagogical value of such an event, Charity Yearwood, Head of Science at Stopsley High School Luton, said: “Events like Solar Impulse are the driving force behind how science works. This event is an excellent opportunity that allowed our students to experience the scientific concepts learnt in the classroom, nurturing their curiosity and wetting their appetites for all that Science has to offer and inspiring them towards future careers in Science."
Her colleague Natasha Cole, Science Teacher of Ashcroft High School, added: “Through this type of event pupils get an overall impression of the plastics industry and its applications. It has also allowed students to understand more about the science behind flight in an industry we are fortunate to have in our town. With Solar Impulse and its use of photovoltaic application, students have become aware of the necessity of energy efficiency, for a sustainable future. This opportunity has helped raise the students' aspirations while providing real life motivational examples of science within a European context.”
The show ended with a special highlight for the students: easyJet raffled two free four-person tickets for a flight to a destination of their choice. For both winners, it will be the first flight of their life.
easyJet’s Communications Director, Paul Moore, said, “easyJet is proud to be headquartered in Luton, and so we’re delighted to be able to play our part in showing young people aviation of the future. easyJet is a pioneering airline, and since we launched our first flights from Luton just 17 years ago, we have transformed the way people travel across Europe. We hope that today’s event has inspired the young people to consider a career in aviation”.
More information on Solar Impulse kit and school visit here.