Ayrshire's education is flying high as SKYLAB returns to airshow



If you have been to the Scottish Airshow you may know them for putting together the big FuturesZone marquee on Ayr Low Green and being the first people to stage a science lesson with a £60 million RAF Typhoon Jet fighter to open the Airshow.

In fact they are one of the Airshow organisers looking after and developing all of the education and STEM outreach activities for the events held during the first weekend in September that has become a most looked forward to event now in the Scottish calendar.

However, the SKYLAB has taken their activities to new heights as they became part of the Red Arrows team for the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow on the 15-17th July supporting the team with their STEM outreach.

Here they engaged thousands of people with their RAF Typhoon vs Red Arrows Hawk education packs and engagement program. The Red Arrows pilots and their engineers, called the blues, used the education packs and radio controlled model planes to let young people know who they were, what they did and how they could be like them and be engineers or pilots.

Dr Geoff Coxon the founder and Chief executive of theSKYLAB said: “It was an absolute privilege to be working with the Red Arrows and do something for the first time with them. It is new and exciting and to be able to develop the STEM program with them, lead them through it and deliver it with them is simply something we could not have imagined we would achieve when we set up the organisation four years ago. We are so proud that we have done this and are based in Kilmarnock”


And this Kilmarnock achievement comes just days before the appointment of Sir Stephen Hillier to the post of the new Chief of the Air Staff, the RAFs top officer, who is Kilmarnock Born and bred and a former pupil of Kilmarnock academy. Not to mention Stuart Atha, another former Kilmarnock academy pupil his also amongst one of the top officers in the RAF.

Dr Coxon said “This goes to show that with the right guidance, support and hard work, that anyone, male or female can achieve massive things.

" This is exactly what we want young people to know and what we try to show and do with our education and outreach programs. Anything is possible no matter where you are from."

So what is coming up in the future? TheSKYLAB are putting together a STEM week at Prestwick airport from the 29th August – 2nd September and then of course it’s the Scottish International Airshow on the evening of the 2nd and all day 3rd September at Ayr Low Green.

“We will have loads of free education packs again for young people, Radio controlled demonstration aircraft to play with, and our STEM experts will also be on hand to talk to young people and their families too. We might even have another go at doing the Typhoon science lesson as last time the PA systems broke down half way through.

"We are looking at doing something special on the ground with the Red arrows too, so stay tuned."

People can follow theSKYLAB and keep up to date by liking their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/theskylabstem/ or at Instagram and Twitter @theskylabstem.


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