All Hands on Deck for Learning

Teaming up with Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity on STEM education

It will take until 2022 for the Ministry of Defence to close its shortfall of people skilled in science, technology, engineering and maths, according to a report ordered by the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts.

To help solve that problem, Raytheon UK is investing in STEM learning and training programmes that help the workforce of the future close that gap. The company teamed with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, RNRMC, to deliver a number of fun, interactive STEM-based activities in the second-half of 2020 to engage young students.

Simon Kings, Raytheon UK’s Business Development and Strategy director and former Royal Navy commodore said, “Our STEM ambassadors created a fantastic array of STEM activities that I hope will engage and inspire young students to think of maths and engineering in a different way.”

The partnership kicked off with STEM activities inspired by the Navy in which Raytheon UK encouraged children to build their STEM knowledge with home-based tasks, such as creating their own paddleboat, building their own aircraft carriers and designing and building their own boat. Quizzes and mathematical puzzles tested students' knowledge of why ships have been so crucial to the UK throughout its history. Raytheon UK’s STEM Ambassadors also created an online booklet of the activities enabling students to develop their skills anywhere and at any time.

Some activity challenges were judged in a competition adjudicated by a panel of Raytheon UK and RNRMC representatives. Students at Piper’s Vale Primary Academy were selected as the winners of the STEM Float Your Boat challenge having impressed judges with their model boats.

“The Year 6 class at Piper’s Vale Primary Academy are worthy winners of the RNRMC’s Float Your Boat Competition in partnership with Raytheon UK. For an entire class to come together and get behind the challenge of constructing not just one, but a whole flotilla of model boats is fantastic and demonstrates excellent teamwork, innovation and problem-solving skills, which will serve them well throughout their schooling and in their careers beyond,” said Honorary Royal Navy Commander Dee Caffari MBE, the first woman in history to sail solo non-stop around the world in both directions.

Piper’s Vale students also attended a virtual engineering careers workshop hosted by Raytheon UK’s STEM ambassadors, the Royal Naval Air Engineering and Survival Equipment School and Alex Rose-Parfitt, Raytheon UK’s engineering director and executive sponsor for STEM at Raytheon UK.

“The STEM activity pack was a really useful tool for us to use with the students, who have recently returned to school. It helped us to relate to what we have been learning into real-life contexts with fun and engaging activities. Our students are delighted to have won the Float Boat competition, and we are looking forward to developing our students’ understanding of STEM in the real world,” said Anand Chauhan, Year 6 and computing lead at Piper’s Vale Primary Academy.

Since 2007, the RNRMC has funded projects and facilities that boost morale for those who serve today. They also distribute millions of pounds annually to military charities that care for the children, families and veterans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

“This unique partnership with Raytheon UK will help raise the engagement and capability of children and young people from naval families nationwide in STEM subjects and careers in an increasingly information-based and highly technological society,” said Adrian Bell, chief executive of the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity.

Raytheon UK’s partnership with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is just one way in which the company supports and trains the next generation into STEM careers. The company’s flagship Quadcopter Challenge helps students learn project management, team-building, piloting, innovation, finance and problem-solving skills. The business also partners with educational institutes across the UK to offer education and training in areas such as cyber, so that it can help equip the next generation with skills for the future.

“Especially at a time where there has been huge disruption to the provision of education, the hands-on activities and accessible learning resources produced by Raytheon UK’s STEM ambassadors will be very much welcomed by naval families and help to foster problem-solving, discovery and exploratory learning which can be taken back to the classroom once schools resume as normal,” Bell said.