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Educational Share to help inspire

by Ian Homer. Posted to category: Education

- help us reach more youngsters

Education - one way to inspire future engineers

The case for restoring XH558 to flight was justified not only on the attractive goal of being able to display one of the world's most famous aircraft in the air, but importantly also on how XH558 could help tell the story of her time and the design and engineering innovation she exemplifies, and how she could help inspire the next generation of schoolchildren.

It has become clear to us that there are a number of stories to tell that have the potential to inspire and educate fresh generations: in science and engineering, the importance of purposeful design, and creative thinking to solve technical problems; in history, the story of the Cold War and the importance of deterrence as a strategy.

Over the years since we started down the road of restoring XH558 to flight, we have unfortunately had very limited resources to deploy our education activities, the priority always being on keeping XH558 flying. But we have slowly been making steady progress, most notably with our Vulcan primary school learning pack, now being used by several schools. These packs are designed to meet the national curriculum, and include various exercises designed to stimulate problem solving, in particular with mathematics, and by using physical examples - the application of science to everyday problems.

We have complemented the learning packs by proposing visits by parties of schoolchildren to our own hangar at Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster. When these visits occur, they are universally well-received, as would be expected. The experience of seeing an aircraft the size of XH558 at close quarters is an exciting one for people of all ages!

We have now teamed up with a nationally recognised training provider 'Cornerstones' who have been developing new learning packs for us for a wider age range, based around the Vulcan. These packs will shortly be offered as online versions - a set of teaching resources that will be available to schools everywhere as a series of components.

Find out all about Cornerstones here

We have already had positive responses from the teaching profession, with many educators interested in becoming more involved. This has however, highlighted a common problem.

As could be expected, schools continue to struggle with budgets and can't afford much at all. To maximise our educational and inspirational benefits , we need to bring more schoolchildren to see XH558, and to distribute our learning packs more widely.

To this end, we would very much like to be able to allocate some funding towards covering the transport costs of bringing school parties to Hangar 3 at Robin Hood, with the aim of enabling hundreds more children to see XH558 and the educational exhibits we are building, hopefully, sparking the interest which will lead to further research and study back in the classroom.

How many youngsters like these can we inspire into science, engineering and technology?

This really has huge potential, with the added benefit of engaging parents and families.

Recently, this has led to the development of a training workshop located at and in partnership with the South Yorkshire Air Museum near to the centre of Doncaster. See

This new workshop has the potential to give children the opportunity to discover practical skills and learn how to use those skills in a productive and safe way. We have already had interest from ATC groups who feel that a basic hand skills course would benefit those future engineers considering a career in aircraft or mechanical engineering. We are being supported by RAF Cosford to produce a scheme of work which would have the quality of current RAF training schedules.

It will help the youngsters to develop both an insight into the world of engineering and basic practical skills as a springboard for a potential career.

Our aim is to provide quality, relevant, and most importantly, fun educational experiences for our younger generation.

We have set a budget of £60,000 to develop this project throughout 2013 and have issued shares to enable our supporters to aim their donations specifically to this area. If you agree with us that a big part of XH558's future lies in Education, then do see below for more details.

Updated bomb-bay plaques will be fitted in the next few weeks

We have 1,500 shares available to support our Educational activities this year. Each is priced at £40 and can be sponsored by clicking the icon or by clicking here.

Together with our other share issues, your support will be recognised by a dedicated share certificate, while sponsorship of £75 or more will allow you to nominate a name to be displayed in the bomb-bay of XH558.

Support of £150 or more will allow you to receive not only the listing on the bomb-bay door, but a special edition hard-backed version of our Avro Vulcan 60th Anniversary book, complete with a bookplate signed by the 2013 crew. Both offers can be acquired in a single transaction for shares, or cumulatively, if for instance, you prefer to buy a share each month. Qualifying names will be displayed on a 2013 Season plaque that will be closed for further names in mid-May or earlier if all of the shares are purchased. Once fitted, the plaque will remain in XH558 for the rest of her life – full testament to your fantastic support.

Find out full details on all our shares here:



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