Primary school competition to meet the Red Arrows launches

Primary school children could be in with the chance of meeting the Red Arrows at the Bournemouth Air Festival by designing their own paper aeroplane.

The competition aims to inspire the next generation of children in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole into STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths).

All primary schools that enter will be invited to an online question and answer event with the Red Arrows in the lead up to the festival, which is organised by BCP Council.

One winner will be chosen to meet the pilots at the festival, which runs from 31 August – 3 September, and includes demonstrations from the Typhoon and Battle of Britain Memorial Flight planes.

Runners up will see their designs featured in the festival’s STEM marquee on the East Cliff, which will feature exciting demonstrations from local industries, such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Bournemouth-based Centre VR, the largest virtual reality centre in Europe.

Festival director Jon Weaver said: “With its unique focus on STEM, the Bournemouth Air Festival, is a huge opportunity to inspire children in our community to be the next generation of engineers.

“This year’s STEM marquee will feature some of the region’s high-profile companies and experts specialising in various STEM sectors, giving exciting demonstrations.

“Everyone is welcome to come along to this year’s marquee, which will be situated at the RAF Village on the East Cliff. If you’re interested in how things work and have a creative brain it is definitely for you!

“I encourage all primary schools to take part in this year’s competition for a chance to be featured inside this year’s STEM marquee and to win a chance to meet the Red Arrows.”

Squadron Leader Tom Bould, Team Leader and Red 1 of the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, said: “STEM subjects power the work of the Red Arrows and are at the core of so many roles within the RAF.

“Every time the team takes to the air, our precision shows are the result of a great deal of planning plus application of fast maths and expert engineering.

“I’d encourage young people in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area to use these exciting, dynamic aerobatic displays as aviation inspiration and be creative in their paper aeroplane designs.”

Editor’s notes

Please note, this is for primary schools in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole only. Entries must come from the school, not from individual students.

Instructions for schools

To enter please visit

Deadline for entries is 9 June.

We aim to choose the winners and update schools by mid-June.

The online question and answer event with schools will take place at a date to be confirmed in July. Schools will receive an email invite and measures will be taken to ensure the event is safe and secure.

Find out more about the STEM marquee at this year’s festival.