Winchester, 26 March 2010: More than 100 school children from Hampshire were treated to a special day of space themed workshops this week at the INTECH Science Centre in Winchester to mark the opening of the newly renamed ‘Airbus Defence and Space Planetarium’.
Airbus Defence and Space, Europe biggest space technology company, has become the official sponsor of INTECH’s planetarium as it looks to work closely with the Centre to inspire young people about space. The Airbus Defence and Space Planetarium is the largest capacity planetarium in the UK and forms part of INTECH’s hands-on interactive science centre. INTECH is a purpose-built facility with over 100 exhibits that demonstrate the science and technology of the world around us in an engaging and exciting way.
The renamed ‘Airbus Defence and Space Planetarium’ was opened by INTECH’s planetarium manager Dr Jenny Shipway with some help from Airbus Defence and Space’s Mars Rover prototype ‘Bridget’. Airbus Defence and Space’s space engineers from the company’s Portsmouth site, then put on a special planetarium show that took local school children on a journey through the solar system and beyond, stopping at Mars and Jupiter along the way
Airbus Defence and Space engineers were on hand throughout the day to answer any questions the school children had about space, as they teamed up with INTECH’s education officers to run a series of Mars themed workshops.
This included the school children building their own Mars Rover models and learning about the types of equipment that you might take to Mars. They also took part in building and testing their own Mars ‘egg landers’, which taught them about the challenges of landing a spacecraft on another planet – thankfully most of the eggs survived!
On Wednesday evening, INTECH and Airbus Defence and Space hosted a cocktail reception for local partners, with speeches from Airbus Defence and Space’ Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Patrick Wood and INTECH’s Director, Phil Winfield, welcoming the new sponsorship.
Patrick Wood, CTO, Airbus Defence and Space said:
“INTECH provides a fantastic facility to directly engage with young people about science and engineering in an exciting and interactive environment. Thorough our sponsorship of the planetarium, we look forward to working closely with INTECH in promoting the wonders of space and enthusing future generations about careers in our industry.”
Phil Winfield, Director, INTECH said:
“We are delighted to have Airbus Defence and Space as a partner and it is a model example of the worlds of business and educational charities working together. There is a natural affinity between Airbus Defence and Space and our planetarium facility and we greatly welcome their support.”
INTECH is open daily to the public from 10am – 4pm.
INTECH, is an educational charity which aims to enthuse and educate people in science and technology. Its exhibition of 100 hands-on exhibits for families and schools has seen its popularity rise dramatically in recent years. INTECH is an educational charity and receives no funding from central government. It was recently awarded the 2010 Business of the Year in the Winchester Business Exellence Awards.
About Airbus Defence and Space
Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment and Airbus Defence and Space for the development and provision of secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, geo-information products and services, and navigation services.
AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, AIRBUS Group generated revenues of €42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119, 000.
Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK) Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180
Andy Lane (INTECH) Tel.: 01962 891915