Brooklands Innovation Academy returns with Professor Brian Cox to inspire more STEM students through loaded 2023 programme
Education STEM

Brooklands Innovation Academy returns with Professor Brian Cox to inspire more STEM students through loaded 2023 programme

This year will once again see hundreds of students converging on Brooklands Museum for the second edition of Brooklands Innovation Academy. Following the success of the inaugural event in November 2022, Brooklands Museum is already preparing for a bigger and better “hands-on” programme in 2023.

This year, the main event will take place on the 3rd of October with Professor Brian Cox CBE FRS in attendance to guide and inspire students from across the region and encourage them to consider a career in science and engineering.

Leveraging Brooklands Museum’s unique position as the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation and its rich history of innovation, engineering, and science, Brooklands Innovation Academy combines inspiring tales of the past with a whirlwind of contemporary innovators, international businesses and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) leaders. With a focus on “learning by doing” the Academy is intended to light the spark of curiosity and provide practical experience for Britain’s future engineers and scientists.

Last year was a resounding success with more than 400 students taking part in over 21 different workshops and speaking events. The programme has received an incredible level of support as one of the nation’s leading student STEM events with Haleon continuing as a major supporter in 2023 alongside significant local employers, including the NHS.

In addition to the main event in October, Brooklands Innovation Academy will include a number of lead-in events throughout the summer supported by Airbus and McLaren Automotive, engaging students with new ideas, great challenges, and the possibilities of careers in critical sectors:

  • Jobs of the Future with McLaren Automotive
  • Lightbulb Moments with Airbus
  • Civil Engineering Changes Lives with Wilmot Dixon and Balfour Beatty

Each of the three precursor events features a specific industry theme and sponsorship, with company representatives supporting students to solve hands-on problems while learning about some of the greatest challenges of our time.

Brooklands Innovation Academy is part of the National Science Summer School programme, co-founded by Professor Brian Cox CBE FRS and Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, and managed by Well North Enterprises. The Academy brings together hundreds of students to take part in workshops run by some of the world’s top STEM businesses and enjoy guest presentations with a focus on STEM skills and future industry challenges such as advanced medicine, transportation, sustainable manufacturing, and the climate crisis.

It is also delivered in close partnership with the Bourne Education Trust, a relationship that was formed simultaneously with Science Summer School and has accelerated the magnitude of the programme. The collaboration of partners with a shared vision to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers through impactful, out-of-classroom experiences, has won Brooklands Museum and Bourne Education Trust a place on the shortlist of Museums + Heritage Awards ‘Learning Programme of the Year’.

Professor Brian Cox CBE FRS

Professor Brian Cox CBE FRS, Co-founder of Science Summer School, said: “Last year the first Brooklands Innovation Academy was a resounding success with over 400 students from across the region getting hands-on experience and insight into the challenges facing humanity.  This year the programme has been expanded and we are preparing to inspire and support hundreds more future STEM innovators.   Brooklands Museum is the perfect place to host these events with a rich history of daring engineering.  The people who worked here truly shaped the future of both aviation and automotive industries. I’m very much looking forward to meeting and engaging with the students and teachers in October”. 

Adam Sisson, Vice President & Head of Oral Health R&D at Haleon, commented: “STEM education and guidance are critical in preparing and inspiring students for a potential future in the exciting world of STEM. Here in the UK, significant strides have been made to increase STEM engagement and programmes like the Brooklands Innovation Academy are at the heart of encouraging all young people to feel that they can pursue a fulfilling career within STEM.

Brooklands is an inspiring backdrop as the endeavour and entrepreneurship that has been demonstrated by so many in the past, provides inspiration and important lessons for the future. Haleon supports the Brooklands Innovation Academy as we believe that it is vital to ensure we provide students with an understanding of the diverse and fulfilling career opportunities that STEM can provide. We are thrilled to see the programme expanded for 2023 and look forward to taking an active role in the programme throughout the year.”

Penny Alford, Chief Education Officer at Bourne Education Trust, commented: It is so important for young people from underrepresented groups to be able to access this hands-on experience and to see the opportunities and careers that are out there. We are eager to continue building relationships between Brooklands Museum and some of our families that may not experience or have immediate access to events like this. As part of our role, we are committed to ensuring that all our school communities have the same access to great STEM education and opportunities, with the aim of reaching even more students this year via the Brooklands Innovation Academy.”

Tamalie Newbery, Director and CEO, Brooklands Museum, said: “We are thrilled to use this iconic site’s legacy of innovation as a platform that inspires and supports young people to become the next generation of scientists and engineers. Programmes like the Brooklands Innovation Academy are helping to make Britain the best place in the world to do science and develop new technologies. Last year, we saw an immense positive impact on students thanks to the involvement of leading businesses and inspiring guest speakers. It was a phenomenal success and we are very pleased to be expanding the programme this year to help even more students.”

Lord Andrew Mawson OBE, Co-Founder, Science Summer School, Chair, Well North Enterprises commented: “Scientists at Cern do it including Professor Brian Cox. As do engineers at McLaren; astronauts in space; surgeons, doctors and nurses in our hospitals and clinics; business entrepreneurs; musicians on stage and in recording studios; school students and their teachers. They all learn by doing. Brooklands and its rich heritage and legacy – past, present and future – as the home of British aviation and motor sport is a perfect example of a learning by doing culture.

This programme is a team effort and we thank all of our partners for their support going forward. Brooklands Innovation Academy is also an important catalyst for Well North Enterprises and Brooklands Museum to set up a longer-term Innovation Platform in Surrey connecting the career pipeline between young people and the myriad of local career opportunities across education, health and business. This fantastic programme is helping to equip these young people with a practical toolkit which will help them start to navigate the modern world of work.”

About Brooklands Museum
Brooklands Museum is the largest museum in Surrey, occupying 32 acres on the site of the world’s first motor racing circuit, which opened in Weybridge, Surrey in 1907. It showcases the achievements of the pioneering men and women in motorsport and aviation since its creation. The famous Race Track and the huge aviation manufacturing factories made it a household name for much of the twentieth century.

Since opening as a public Museum in 1991 it has continued to grow its collection of aircraft, racing bikes and cars as well as opening the award-winning Brooklands Aircraft Factory and the only Concorde with public access in South East England. With displays in original buildings, motoring and aviation events and an extensive learning programme for schools and colleges, the past is brought to life again for over 185,000 visitors a year.
About Science Summer School
In 2012 Professor Brian Cox CBE, FRS co-founded Science Summer School with Lord Andrew Mawson OBE to help make the UK the 'best place to do science and engineering' with annual projects now running in London South Yorkshire and Northern Ireland and Brooklands Museum in Weybridge, Surrey.

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