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Expo proves to be out of this world

Hirst Park Middle School students Ben and Caitlin, alongside Trevor Swann, director of strategy and standards at Ashington Learning Partnership, with Dr Kierann Shah, from the National Space Academy, and Nicole Sergeant, STEM learning co-ordinator with ALP. Picture by Simon Willams/Crest Photography.

Hirst Park Middle School students Ben and Caitlin, alongside Trevor Swann, director of strategy and standards at Ashington Learning Partnership, with Dr Kierann Shah, from the National Space Academy, and Nicole Sergeant, STEM learning co-ordinator with ALP. Picture by Simon Willams/Crest Photography.

Hundreds of children were given a chance to reach for the stars during an insight into career opportunities in the UK space industry.

More than 400 schoolchildren aged 11 to 16 from around the region attended the inaugural Great North East Space and Engineering Expo at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum.

Organised by the Ashington Learning Partnership (ALP), the event welcomed students from 19 schools along with industry experts and employers to take part in a variety of interactive workshops and explore the growing range of career opportunities in the UK space industry.

Trevor Swann, director of strategy and standards for ALP, said: “We’ve been blown away by the positive feedback from students, parents, employers and teaching staff.

“Our aim was to showcase this growing sector of Britain’s economy and present the fantastic job opportunities available locally for students with an interest in STEM subjects.

“We are now putting plans in place to make The Great North East Space and Engineering Expo an annual event

“It’s been fantastic working with the National Space Academy and local companies to illustrate how diverse and fascinating science and particularly engineering can be.”

Local companies that participated included Rolls Royce, AMEC, EDF Energy, NaREC, Quest UAV Ltd, The National Space Academy, Durham and Northumbria universities, Newcastle College and Northumberland College.

The space industry today is worth around £9bn annually to Britain’s economy and sector trade association UKspace is forecasting this will more than double by 2020 and increase to around £40bn by 2030 creating over 100,000 new and highly skilled jobs.

 

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