Following the success of the 2016 Cool Aeronautics programme, 2017 focused on retaining momentum and identifying new partners and locations. Eighteen Cool Aeronautics events were achieved, reaching 59 primary schools and 1,897 pupils. New venues for 2017 included the University of Bath, Kingston University and Aerobility. We were delighted to announce a new programme sponsor, AAR Corp, who have agreed to sponsor the programme for three years, providing vital support and stability.
One of the biggest highlights of the year was a special Cool Aeronautics event to mark the visit of British astronaut Tim Peake to the Society's headquarters. On 9 November 2017, 90 children from London primary schools were invited to come along for a space-themed special event, but the name of our guest was kept a secret. When he arrived on stage, the delight and wonder on the children's faces as they realised it was Tim Peake was a truly magical moment.
An RAF Chinook also flew in for an event at RAF Halton and we took Cool Aeronautics to Oakington Manor Primary School in Wembley, were the pilot Shaesta Waiz, gave a presentation at their assembly about her amazing solo around-the-world flight.
There has been a real focus on engaging schools that have students from a disadvantaged backgrounds (the measuring parameter has been the percentage of students on free school meals) and ensuring that each event helps raise the ambitions of all children, as well as promoting STEM subjects.