Inspiring a love of science
We see it as our responsibility to encourage and inspire young people to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Our education programmes are designed to challenge stereotypes and excite young people about careers in science and engineering.
We support a variety of events in partnership with schools throughout the year including challenges that get students excited about STEM related careers and help students develop team-building and engineering skills. These activities also provide the opportunity for our employees to continue their own development through mentoring, visiting schools and sharing their experience with students.
FIRST Robotics Competition
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual event that helps inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators. A large-scale robotics competition, it brings together secondary school students and mentors from across Australia to build robots, to precise specifications, that perform in a competitive environment against teams from all over the world.
This year BAE Systems sponsored six teams across Australia - the RoboRoos (SA), Macquarie University (NSW), Ground Control (WA), IC Robotics, AI Robotics and RoboCats (Victoria).
2017 was a particularly exciting year for our company supported teams, with three of them winning their categories and subsequently travelling to the USA to compete for the world title.
FIRST LEGO League
The FIRST LEGO League is the junior version of the Robotics Competition. It uses LEGO MINDSTORM robotics kits to introduce upper primary students to real-world engineering challenges, in which they research and identify a problem, develop a solution for that problem, and share their solution with their community.
The company and a group of dedicated employees have been sponsoring the competition and event since 2010 by providing robotics kits to schools, mentoring the students and acting as judges, volunteers and the major sponsor for the final event, where the teams come together for a full day of competition to present their solutions and run their robots through a series of challenges.
The Concept2Creation program introduces a “product life cycle” approach to STEM education, where secondary students work with industry mentors to take a product from concept, through research and development, production and quality assurance, to final creation and marketing.
BAE Systems provides sponsorship, mentoring support and helps to judge the Wetlands Environmental Management (WEM) Challenge of C2C, where secondary school teams design, manufacture and test a vehicle that can obtain multiple water samples from a wetlands environment.
World Solar Car Challenge
In 2017, the World Solar Challenge will celebrate its 30th Anniversary. Every two years, the Challenge welcomes teams from around the world to Australia to challenge the norms and travel the outback in a vehicle powered only by the power of the sun. Traversing 3,000km from Darwin to Adelaide, teams comprise of tertiary and secondary students from over 30 countries.
Based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle.
This year, two BAE Systems employees spent six months supporting TAFE SA’s World Solar Car Challenge vehicle team and participated in the event as a part of our STEM and Next Generation activities.