Collins Aerospace engineers welcome Banbury students

Twenty seven students from Futures Institute joined staff at the Collins Aerospace site in Banbury recently to learn about engineering in an action packed day.
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The school, on Ruskin Road, is part of the Aspirations Academies Trust which places a strong emphasis on applied learning, employability and the development of power skills like collaboration, communication, critical thinking and problem solving. Collins Aerospace has partnered with Futures over a number of years to develop workplace skills and extend the students’ awareness of real world opportunities in STEM.

“Visiting Collins opens up students' eyes to what the world of work is like,” explains Director of Project Based Learning at Futures, Dr Catherine Pickup, “ and why employability skills like teamwork are important. We are so appreciative of the link between our school and this great local employer.”

The students, all in Year 9, participated in a Lego balloon car competition, showcasing their teamwork and creativity. They also put their design skills to the test in a model plane creation challenge, crafting planes from cardboard and aiming for the longest flight distance.

Futures students with the staff of Collins AerospaceFutures students with the staff of Collins Aerospace
Futures students with the staff of Collins Aerospace

Following the challenges, the students embarked on a shop floor tour, visiting various departments, including quality engineering, materials & processing, and testing. A highlight was witnessing the dramatic stress testing of transmission shafts in the torque cell, gaining first-hand experience of the rigorous processes which ensure product durability.

“We had such a fun time hosting Futures Institute,” said Aniel Ganatra, Site Lead at Collins, “and we think the students enjoyed it too! It has been a great way for our site to recognise and celebrate Engineering Month.”

The pupils agreed the day had been a success:“The challenges were a brilliant way to show our creativity,” said Year 9 pupil, Jackson, while his classmate Jess preferred the tour. “It was interesting and the stress testing where they bend the bars was fun!”

Collins will be hosting a number of Year 10 students from Futures Institute in Work Experience Week in July.

Lego balloon cars at the ready!Lego balloon cars at the ready!
Lego balloon cars at the ready!

“Collins really inspire our students and they all gain so much from coming here,” adds Catherine. “They’ve given work experience to more than a dozen of our students, they’ve set challenges for our sixth formers, and their apprentices (including a previous Futures student ) have come to school to talk about routes into engineering careers. We feel very fortunate to have their support.”

“We’re always looking for the next generation of innovators,” explained Aniel, “and inviting students to explore STEM at work is a great place to start!”

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