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School Children Across The UK Get Set To Build Rockets And Colonise Mars

22nd January 2018


The wonders of the universe are brought to life through the participation in STEM subjects

Today, TSB has announced the launch of a nationwide competition for schools to encourage more children aged 7-11 understand the wonders of the universe and get excited about STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Parents, teachers and governors can enter their school into the competition to win a half-day session with award winning author Lucy Hawking and TSB’s CEO (and Theoretical Physicist) Dr Paul Pester during British Science Week – 9-18 March 2018.

During the visit, Paul and Lucy will deliver a workshop called ‘Let’s Build a Rocket’ which sees the children design their own rocket and then work out how best to colonise the planet Mars.

Paul Pester, Chief Executive Officer of TSB says: “As every physicist knows, you can travel anywhere in space and time with just a pencil, a sheet of paper and your imagination. I want every child to have the same opportunity to explore the universe as I have had and, even more importantly, see how STEM subjects will give them the foundation to go anywhere and do anything they want to in later life.

“I know first-hand how STEM subjects are the backbone to how we live our lives. Physics gives you a broad understanding of the world you live in and helps you develop key skills, from problem-solving to being analytical. I can’t wait to build a rocket with the lucky school that’s selected and see these children’s futures lift-off!”

Lucy Hawking comments: “It’s often reported that STEM subjects are less popular with students than other subjects but, whether we realise it or not, many of our industries are built on STEM. Getting young children interested in these subjects and excited about them at an early age is essential for the success of businesses and UK plc tomorrow. It’s been fantastic working with TSB to create ‘Let’s Build a Rocket’ and I can’t wait to deliver it to the winning school during British Science Week in March.”

The workshop is the result of collaboration between Lucy Hawking, TSB and Curved House Kids – a company specialising in educational materials for young people. Specifically aimed at 7-11 year olds, the workshop will take students on a journey to design a rocket to go into space incorporating maths, science and art.

The ‘Let’s Build a Rocket’ workshop is part of TSB’s volunteering programme which encourages everyone working at the Bank to spend eight hours, when they would normally be working, supporting the local community.

TSB Partners across Britain are working with local schools and community groups to help young people, aged between 5 and 18 years old. As well as financial education, workshops for fraud awareness and employability skills have also been adapted to suit an adult audience, with a particular focus on older people and vulnerable groups.


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Notes to editors


For full details of how to enter and terms of conditions, please visit:

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