RAF100 History and STEM activities for secondary schools

Explore and download activities for topics spanning the last 100 years via the links below.

1. Origins of the RAF and Aircraft Design

At the start of the First World War in 1914, people had only been successfully flying aircraft for ten years. Aircraft design was still in its infancy. 

2. The Battle of Britain and Radar

The Battle of Britain was one of the most important Allied victories of the Second World War. Radar played a vital role as an early warning system for incoming German bombing raids.

3. Codebreakers and Communication Technology

For centuries, organisations and governments have wanted to send information secretly. Different ways of sending secret messages have been developed over time but the most common practice has been to hide information by using a code or a cipher.

4. Relief Operations and Airdrops

Relief operations and airdrops have been an important part of the RAF role since the beginning. In the modern world participation in relief operations have played a crucial role in establishing UK international affairs. In 2018 the RAF expertise in air drops has been vital for getting supplies to areas...

5. The Jet Age and Helicopters

Historical events and needs have often driven aircraft design, and the new aircraft technology has in turn had an impact on historical events. This activity looks particularly at the development of the jet and the impact of the helicopter. The introductory film Jet Age and Helicopters outlines some key technical...

6. Aerial reconnaissance, Stereo Images and Conflict

During the 20th century, intelligence-gathering (collecting information) was one of the most important aspects of fighting a war. This activity focuses on the development and techniques of intelligence-gathering used by the RAF during the Second World War and the Cold War. The introductory film Reconnaissance: The Cold War looks at...

7. Long Range Operations, The Falklands War and Navigation

RAF's Operation Black Buck played a vital role in the 1982 Falklands conflict. This incredibly challenging long-range mission required bomber aircraft to fly 7,800 miles non-stop, involving complex feats of mid-air refuelling. The introductory film provides an overview of Operation Black Buck. In the history activity students explore the Falklands military campaign and in particular how the RAF overcame the huge geographical challenges to...

8. Medicine, War and Rescue

The last 100 years has seen medical science and battlefield medicine develop enormously, and aeromedical evacuation in particular has made an incredible contribution. The introductory video Medical Evacuation outlines the part the RAF have played - and continue to play - in bringing injured soldiers to medical help.   In the history activity students explore medical treatments during times...