Last Wednesday students from the National Space Academy's Space Engineering course attended the Parliamentary Space Committee's Christmas Reception.  The students took centre stage after a glowing introduction in which National Space Academy Steering Group Chairman Ian Taylor read out a letter of endorsement from Professor Brian Cox.

Twelve students are studying for the Space Engineering qualification, taught in collaboration with Loughborough College, which includes A Levels in Mathematics and Physics and a Level 3 BTEC qualification in Engineering.  As part of their studies they will take industry visits and have help in finding work experience in the UK space sector, but the visit to the House of Commons and the Parliamentary Space Committee Christmas Reception last week was a completely new insight for these young people.

The Parliamentary Space Committee, chaired by Adam Afriyie MP, is a cross-party group committed to furthering the UK's space interests, and the Christmas Reception was an excellent opportunity for the students to find out more about how government views the UK space sector and its future for students like themselves who want to work in it.

The students made a fantastic impression on other attendees at the reception, further enhanced by the reading of a letter from Professor Brian Cox to Ian Taylor, National Space Academy Steering Group Chairman, the full text of which can be found here.  His letter highlighted that "frontier research plays a fundamental role in encouraging young people to study the STEM subjects" and that "the experience of the joy of exploration, and an understanding of why we must do it, has to be for everyone" He concluded with the statement that "the efforts of the NSA deserve wide support."

It was a worthwhile and out-of-the-ordinary visit for the Space Engineering cohort, who will be adding their own thoughts on the experience in news articles coming soon.