Pathways East Midlands Roadshow


Using the inspiration of Sir Ben Ainslie’s British America’s Cup Challenge, INEOS TEAM UK, 50 school students from across Leicester and Northampton took part in a two-day Roadshow. Organised by the 1851 Trust, official charity of INEOS TEAM UK, students got to enjoy sailing sessions as well as hands on STEM challenges. 

Students investigated the science and cutting-edge technology behind the incredible America’s Cup foiling sailing boats that will race at speeds of up to 60 mph. They took part in a series of hands-on investigations, before going on to apply the theory of how a sail or wing works to design and make their own wind turbines to harness the power of the wind, storing the energy they generated to power their own micro race boat.  

Having practically researched hull shapes, structures and modern materials, they designed their own micro boat to race down a 4m length of guttering. Every team rose to the challenge and were able to successfully race their boat down the gutter, with many recording some very quick times!  

To bring the science to life, each student also took to the water in a dinghy to experience sailing for themselves. In small teams, they were all able to steer and control the boat and sails, bringing together what they had learned on shore. To top it all off, students got to experience the thrill of sailing fast boats, with a trip in a catamaran alongside an instructor.  

This unique experience combining hands on STEM learning and sailing really helped open students’ eyes to the exciting opportunities available to them both in their education and career choices and in promoting active and healthy lifestyles in areas that many may not have previously considered or had opportunity to experience. An amazing time was had by all. 

Student quotes: 

“I didn’t think I was very interested in doing Science after GCSEs, but I would be more interested now because I know more things that you could use Science to do and it has been really interesting.” 

“It’s been cool I have learnt loads, I wouldn’t mind doing something like this at college.” 

“I might think about doing something like engineering now, I didn’t really know what it was about” 

 Staff quotes:

Q: What was the best bit – Sailing as it was a new experience for the students, and they enjoyed the thrill of being in the water! – Teacher at Rushden Academy 

Q: What was the best bit – Building the boat to race in the 4m gutter. Very engaging for the students – Teacher at Corby Technical School 

Follow and support the 1851 Trust

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required