On 14th February 2019 Airbus STEM Ambassadors led an Employer Engagement session at Springfield School that linked year 10 GCSE maths to Airbus’s real-life day jobs showing the need for the use of STEM subjects in real-life work.

Airbus lead on a Maths Challenge for presented by David O'Connor, Chief Engineer at Airbus for Communication Products with his team for 90 year 10 students. The challenge focused on how to work out the optimal scan size a satellite would need to efficiently map weather phenomena across the earth's surface.

They started by outlining the role that Airbus has in Portsmouth and their current work on Satellites. For the challenge they had to use their understanding of GCSE maths and geometry to work out the latitude, radius, circumference.

They were able to learn about SOHCAHTOA in an abstract lesson giving them an opportunity to see the real-life impact of Maths being applied to roles in a Trans national corporation on a global scale on their doorstep.

Students engagement increased when they were able to understand how the Maths are relevant when applied to the work place. After the session 60% of students said they had learned about its relevance to the world of work.

David and his team were more than just facilitators of this challenge they were highly visible and effective role models for the pupils to work with. 72% of students said they enjoyed the experience and thanked Airbus for their commitment to this project.    

The lessons are part of the wider Employer Engagement Project that brings together, businesses and real-life scenarios from the world of work, to teach young people the curriculum. The project is in partnership with Springfield School and EBP South and funded by The Hearn Foundation.