STEM STUDENTS AIMING FOR THE SKY IN UNIQUE AVIATION PARTNERSHIP

A PIONEERING project between Trent Valley Gliding Club in Lincolnshire and North Lindsey College of FE/HE in Scunthorpe is inspiring high-flying engineering technology students to ‘Aim for the Sky’.

The ground-breaking partnership is funded as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) and will see 208 students experience training flights as pilots under instruction, take part in briefings about the theory of flight, meteorology and navigation, and get involved with airfield operations.

Yvonne Elliott, Schools and Colleges lead for the British Gliding Association, said: “This project is a superb example of how gliding provides excellent ground work for many careers, not just aviation or aerospace, through engaging opportunities for young people linked to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).”

This ‘Aim for the Sky’ programme will last for two weeks per cohort until June 2019 and see 208 students from the College and local secondary schools access this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

All the sessions will take place at Trent Valley Gliding Club Ltd based at Kirton in Lindsey in North Lincolnshire with each student being able to benefit from pilot tutoring over three free glider flights.  Students will have a full 12 hours of experience both practical and theoretical over two weeks.

Encouraging students to access these types of opportunity opens their eyes to potential new careers and gives them a useful insight into the aviation industry.

Chairman of Trent Valley Gliding Club, Geoffrey Davey, said: “Having colleges and schools come through the club means we are putting something back into the community and enabling young people to have an introduction into gliding and aviation – something they might never have considered.  It’s also a great way of showing teamwork and leadership in action at the club, with everyone at the airfield working together to teach lectures and run launchpoint to  get students airborne .”

The Humberside region contains many employers that use safety critical skills and analysis in their everyday operations. This course primarily allows students to have the experience of working in and understanding the aviation industry, but also the skills and the ability to follow engineering procedures in a safety critical environment.

This programme will help raise aspirations and enable students to experience aviation from the perspective of pilot, ground crew, technicians and operations, realising the potential of individuals to succeed in an industry discounted by many as impossible.

Pete Stratten, Chief Executive Officer for the British Gliding Association, said: “Gliding is an accessible sport for all and projects like these are a great way of inspiring young people through aviation experiences.

“Gliding provides opportunities for developing technical skills but also team working, communication and leadership, with many young people involved in the sport going on to a career in flying, engineering or other professional role within aviation and aerospace.”

Gliding Instructor Richard Malam from Trent Valley Gliding Club spoke of the new programme and his enthusiasm for the partnership : “We love teaching gliding skills to young people. Taking them up on their first flights in a glider and sharing their excitement at the views from up there makes it all worthwhile for us.”

Level 3 Electrical Engineering student, Ben Rozewicz, said: “It’s really cool, this experience is not something that happens a lot and it’s different. I feel a bit nervous but I’m in safe hands.”

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