On Friday 16 June, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge joined the 1851 Trust and 122 students from East London schools as they took part in the final Land Rover BAR Roadshow of 2017.
Team Principal & Skipper, Ben Ainslie is the inspiration behind the Roadshows, which deliver a unique multi-activity STEM, sustainability and sailing day for local students around the UK.
Featuring real life examples of the technology and careers involved in the team's challenge for the America’s Cup, the day is comprised of activities carefully designed to enrich the school curriculum, aiming to inspire a new generation of sailors, designers and engineers.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge joined a group workshop on Ocean Health learning about the impact of single-use plastics. They explored the implications of plastic pollution on marine life and the wider environmental impact.
The Duchess also joined a group taking part in the treasure hunt for QR codes where students answered questions on renewable energy sources and why aluminium honeycomb is used to build the race boat.
The 1851 Trust, official charity of Land Rover BAR together with Land Rover, the team’s title and exclusive innovation partner, and the Bermuda Tourism Authority have hosted over 500 young people on the schools’ day of the Roadshows, with a further 700 young people taking part with their families over the weekends.
Kashim Khan age 13 from Bow School highlighted his favourite part of the day “I really liked the sailing, it was good fun and we worked together in a team, it was my first time sailing but I would definitely do it again.”
As Royal Patron for the 1851 Trust, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge was able see for herself how the 1851 Trust has been using the excitement of the America’s Cup to engage young people around the country in STEM subjects and sustainability.
After the activities, the Duchess spoke directly to Sir Ben Ainslie via a video link to Bermuda, commenting "seeing some of the activities today with the 1851 Trust and what the kids have been doing here, is really exciting, as well as seeing some of the different elements behind the racing." Ben then answered questions from the pupils, who were keen to learn more about the campaign and career opportunities within Land Rover BAR.
“It’s fantastic to see so many young people, not just getting out on the water, but seeing the diverse range of careers opportunities there are to young people opting to take STEM subjects. We truly hope to inspire not just the next generation of America’s Cup sailors, but engineers and innovators alike.” Commented Sir Ben Ainslie, Patron of the 1851 Trust.
Pupils also learnt about the carbon cycle in a lesson taken from BT STEM Crew, a unique online learning resource developed by the 1851 Trust.
The mobile ‘Tech Deck’ Education Centre allowed pupils to have a go at generating power using a grinder and using 360-degree virtual reality goggles to experience what it is like to be an America’s Cup sailor.
Amy Johnson, Head of Design Technology at Bow School summed up the day “I think it’s a really inspiring day for students, but also for us teachers to come to another location and see STEM subjects applied through activities. There was a nice mixture of activities and it was interesting learning how a sport like sailing can translate into a variety of careers.”
Science, technology, engineering and maths (collectively known as STEM subjects) are vital to the team and race boat development. The pupils were encouraged to appreciate how choosing to study these subjects could open career opportunities they may never have previously known about.
Ben Cartledge, CEO of the 1851 Trust explains “The 1851 Trust are proud to work alongside Land Rover BAR. This high-performance race team is an incredibly motivating real-life example of the application of STEM study. Students are amazed to see the variety of career opportunities that most had never considered.”
The young people also enjoyed canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and other activities to gain a taste of Bermudan island life, home of the 35th America's Cup. “Our partnership with the 1851 Trust enables us to help youngsters try sailing for the first time and also raise awareness of another issue close to our hearts – marine conservation” explains Kevin Dallas, CEO Bermuda Tourism Authority. “The reefs surrounding Bermuda are an important and fragile marine eco-system, and getting the next generation enthusiastic about ocean research and conservation is essential to all of our futures.”
After the roadshow, teachers will be able to access additional related learning resources on BT STEM Crew to build on pupils’ enthusiasm during the America’s Cup in Bermuda.
Together with Land Rover and supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Land Rover BAR roadshow has visited a total of five locations around the UK, allowing the 1851 Trust to engage with and inspire over 1200 young people.