At SSTL we do our best to spread the word that space engineering in Britain today is exciting and also thriving!
We receive numerous requests for talks and visits from a wide variety of space fans and although we can’t support them all, we get involved with as many as we can.
In 2012, we received over one hundred outreach requests and supported nearly fifty - a diverse mix of events and visits aimed at all ages ranging from 5 to 55 plus. We adapt our focus and materials to make sure that our audience, whoever they are, are engaged and learning and our volunteer presenters enjoy the challenge of bringing our high tech satellite engineering to different audiences.
For younger children, we present about Space and the everyday work of satellites and how it might relate to their own lives. Our presenters enjoy encouraging children to think about real careers in space engineering – offering them an alternative aspiration to the pinnacle of being an astronaut! SSTL has a range of flatpack satellites for younger children to make – if only the real thing were as easy!
For another local school, SSTL supported a Rocket Building project day for the second year running. The children made rockets in teams, paying attention to aerodynamics, mass, and rigidity, and these were launched (at a safe distance!) by SSTL's presenter, Keith Clark. It’s a great hands-on project for the youngsters – making physics fun and relevant for everyone involved.
We’ve also attended a number of Careers events locally, and have hosted visits to our premises for older students – this year groups of students from Kingston, Cranfield and Mississippi Universities, the IET and Guildford High School sixth form all toured our technical facility to find out more about spacecraft manufacturing and see it happening for real.
Also this year, Stefanie Kohl, one of our young graduate engineers, agreed to be followed around by a film crew for A Day in the Life of a Space Systems Engineer film, distributed to schools to support science education in Britain.
It’s not just schools and universities that benefit from the enthusiasm of our volunteers – we’ve been involved with events at Rotary Clubs, the Science Museum, the National Space Academy
, Surrey Teentech
, Cool Aeronautics
, and Surrey SATRO
Unfortunately we just can’t support all the requests that come in to us – but we do our best!