Gwynedd Council is supporting a programme to invite 120 local school children take part in aerospace workshops at this summer’s international drone design competition.

The UAS Challenge competition, returning to the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Llanbedr in June, is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and supported by the Welsh Government, attracts hundreds of student teams from as far as Canada and Sri Lanka.

Pupils from Ysgol Llanbedrand secondary schools in Meirionnydd will have an opportunity to talk to the students about their drones, watch the aircraft compete in the “fly-off” and make model gliders.

Gwynedd Council has sponsored an art and design competition Air Adventures in which children are asked to submit ideas for aircraft to fight wildfires.

Cllr Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Community, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring STEM activities for local school pupils once again at this year’s IMechE UAS Challenge. At last year’s event, young people were able to take part in engineering activities, and speak to engineering teams from universities across the world – we hope this year’s STEM activities will build on that success, and are very pleased to include provision for primary-aged children.”

Peter Finegold, Head of Education & Skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “Air Adventures provides school pupils with a fantastic opportunity to apply creative ideas to humanitarian challenges…and win prizes. The Air Adventurers of today will be the aircraft designers of tomorrow.”

Snowdonia Enterprise Zone Advisory Board Chair Dr John Idris Jones said: “The Board have been eager to ensure that the local community are engaged in the work of Enterprise Zone and get hands on experience of what the future could hold for the Llanbedr site. This is a great opportunity and I’m pleased that children of all ages will be able to take part in activities during the event. STEM subjects are going to vital to a rapidly evolving aerospace sector and we hope that the site can provide real employment prospects for our young people.”

The Welsh Government is supporting the UAS Challenge which will showcase the unique features of Llanbedr’s Snowdonia’s Aerospace Centre to both the local community and a wider international audience. Other sponsors include GKN Aerospace, QinetiQ, Bombardier, Raytheon and Fraser Nash.