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RAF Glider Challenge

Students can learn about how to build and design a glider and learn about the theory of flight!


RAF Glider Challenge

Due to current events, the RAF Museum have adapted this years’ Glider Challenge activity to a virtual event.

All schools involved are sent a 4-week lesson plan to be covered in lessons prior to the online event. During the online virtual session, the RAF Museum's Access and Learning Teams will be presenting best practice of designing and building a glider as well as a Theory of Flight session.

Following this session, schools will be asked to enter up to 5 teams with a maximum of 5 students per team into the final stage of the Glider Challenge activity. The final stage involves a competition based on the learnings of the RAFM Glider Challenge 4-week lesson plan and the teachings of the virtual event. The virtual challenge takes place on Thursday 15 October and teams have until the 22 October to submit their evidence for judging.

The competition will include a research and design element, as well as a poster and presentation pitch which outlines why the team has chosen their glider design and why they think it should win.

We will then award on the following categories: 

1. Furthest Flight Distance
2. Innovative Design
3. Best Project Pitch
4. Overall Winner, the team that scores consistently well throughout all rounds


Minimum of 5 participants, maximum of 25 participants.


4 weeks.

Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Maths
    • Physics
    • General Engineering
    • Materials/Products/Manufacturing
    • Space/Aerospace Engineering
    • Structures/Construction/Civil Engineering

Gatsby benchmark hitter

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Linking curriculum learning to careers

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Aiming High - the ability to set clear, tangible goals and devise a robust route to achieving them.

  • Creativity - the use of imagination and the generation of new ideas.

  • Leadership - supporting, encouraging and motivating others to achieve a shared goal.

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Problem Solving - the ability to find a solution to a complex situation or challenge.

  • Speaking - the oral transmission of information or ideas.

  • Staying Positive - the ability to use tactics to overcome setbacks and achieve goals.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

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STEM Ambassadors

STEM Ambassadors from a wide range of STEM-related jobs to help bring subjects to life.

  • Ages 5 to 19
  • In-school
  • Flexible
  • Free

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