The Duchess of Cambridge visited the last Land Rover BAR Roadshow, with Sir Ben Ainslie putting in a special appearance via video link from Bermuda
The final Land Rover BAR Roadshow of 2017 had two special guests – with students getting the chance to meet HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, and take part in a question and answer session with Sir Ben Ainslie live from Bermuda, where the America’s Cup is taking place.
The event, which was run by Land Rover BAR’s official charity, the 1851 Trust, was held at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre in London earlier today (16 June).
Around 122 students from East London schools took part in the multi-activity STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), sustainability and sailing day.
The young people were shown examples of technology and careers involved in Land Rover BAR’s challenge for the 35th America’s Cup.
The aim of the roadshow, which is supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, is to inspire a new generation of sailors, designers and engineers.
HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who is a patron of the 1851 Trust, 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 codes where students answered questions on renewable energy sources and why aluminium honeycomb is used to build the Land Rover BAR race boat, R1.
After the activities, the Duchess of Cambridge 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.”
Sir Ben then answered questions from the pupils, who were keen to learn more about the campaign and career opportunities within Land Rover BAR.
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“It’s fantastic to see so many young people, not just getting out on the water, but seeing the diverse range of career opportunities there are to young people opting to take STEM subjects,” said the Land Rover BAR skipper, who is also a patron of the 1851 Trust.
“We truly hope to inspire not just the next generation of America’s Cup sailors, but engineers and innovators alike,” added Sir Ben.
One of the students, 13-year-old Kashim Khan 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,” he said.
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.
The head of design technology at Bow School, Amy Johnson, summed up the day saying: “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,” she added.
The young people also enjoyed canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and other activities to gain a taste of Bermudan island life.
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.
The roadshow has visited a total of five locations around the UK, allowing the 1851 Trust to engage with and inspire over 1,200 young people.