The next generation of sailors attend inspirational day at Land Rover BAR

(L-r) Peter Griffin, STEM ambassador, with pupils from St Edmund's School Eloise Borrett, Bethryn Keysell, Louise Elliott and Pip Collins White  Picture: Sarah Standing (170584-7041)
(L-r) Peter Griffin, STEM ambassador, with pupils from St Edmund's School Eloise Borrett, Bethryn Keysell, Louise Elliott and Pip Collins White Picture: Sarah Standing (170584-7041)
Picture: Luke Helmer

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MORE than 100 students from five schools took part in a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of Land Rover BAR, the British America’s Cup challenger.

In the coming weeks, Land Rover BAR, the team led by Sir Ben Ainslie, will attempt to do something that no British team has ever done before: win the America’s Cup.

Six teams will take to the water in Bermuda to battle for the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton, one of the oldest and most prestigious trophies in sporting history.

The 1851 Trust, official charity of Land Rover BAR, together with Land Rover and the Bermuda Tourism Authority, hosted pupils at the Land Rover BAR roadshow at the BAR base in Old Portsmouth yesterday.

The pupils, aged between 11-14, took part in multiple activities designed to enrich the school curriculum and inspire a new generation of sailors, designers and engineers.

Sir Ben, patron of the 1851 Trust, said: ‘When we set up the trust, I was determined to use the excitement of Land Rover BAR’s challenge to win the America’s Cup to inspire young people about the range of opportunities available to them. The roadshow is just one of the ways we are achieving this vision.’

At yesterday’s roadshow, the pupils were taught about the science of sailing in a lesson taken from BT STEM Crew.

The young people also learned about sustainability and ocean health and in particular about the environmental impact of single-use plastics.

Tila Hall, age 11, from Priory School, said: ‘It was 100 per cent brilliant! I really want to come again. I’ve learned a lot about the environment and how to look after it today.’

The students also enjoyed a sailing session, learning to sail on board yachts from the Tall Ships Trust.

They also experienced a high speed RIB ride, which provided an opportunity to try something new, build self-confidence and develop life skills such as teamwork and communication.

The ‘Tech Deck’ Education Centre allowed pupils to have a go at generating power using a grinder, race the boat using a virtual reality simulator and interact with some of the other amazing technological developments contributing to the British team’s racing yacht.

Science, technology, engineering and maths are vital to the team and race boat development and the pupils were encouraged to appreciate how choosing to study these subjects could open exciting career opportunities.

n Cartledge, CEO of the 1851 Trust said: ‘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.’

Jenny Warner, from the Bohunt Education Trust, said: ‘Students don’t know what careers are linked to STEM studies, but the roadshow has given them a really good insight, it’s definitely opened their eyes. They were really interested and asking lots of questions.’

After the roadshow, teachers can access additional learning resources on BT STEM Crew to build on pupil’s enthusiasm during the America’s Cup which starts on May 26 in Bermuda.

Together with Land Rover and supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Land Rover BAR roadshow will visit a total of five locations around the UK, allowing the 1851 Trust to engage with and inspire almost 1,000 young people.