150 Pilots Fly Into The Academy

150 year 5 and 6 students from around the local area visited The Whitehaven Academy to spend the day looking at forces around a plane. Not only is this part of their SATs revision, it was instrumental in the process of designing the cockpit of our Flight Simulator. Each student was placed into a team and asked to design a logo and a team name.

The flight simulator prototype sponsored by the Royal Aeronautical Society is just the first step in creating a fully working flight simulator for our school and community. They have given us £500 to build a working prototype. The students involved in the transition day were post-16 students, Sophie Benn (Project Manager), Emily Nann (Project Administrator), Oliver Chambers (Internal Network Coordinator), Holly Evans (External Coordinator and Press Officer), Will Templeton (Design Manager) and Bridget Robinson and together with the primary school staff from St. Bridgets, Valley, St. Patricks Cleator Moor, Bransty provided a day of fun and excitement. 

“The day allowed students to see what they have been learning in a real situation, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.” said Mrs. Gillson, St. Patrick’s Primary. The year 5 and 6 students were given a whistle-stop tour of forces involved in planes, they were given opportunities to discuss how the forces affect the plane’s movements and then designed their own paper airplane. 

Each student chose a pilot who was responsible for testing the plane before modifications were added allowing the students to improve upon their designs.

“I found the day exciting and I learnt a lot, is this what you do here?” One student from Valley asked. I am proud to say this is something we do regularly. STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) is a really important aspect of our curriculum here at The Whitehaven Academy, not just because of our location on the Energy Coast, but because of the immense benefit students can develop from taking part in STEAM activities.

We were supported by STEM Cumbria, an organisation of employees around the county who volunteer to help and support our STEAM program. This greatly benefited our our post-16 students by allowing them to organise and manage professionals.

Towards the end of the day, students jumped at the chance of making a 3D model of a cockpit for our Flight Simulator. The dedication and determination in those young people was amazing. The final products were out of this world and of top quality, it was a shame we had to chose just one design as the winner – therefore we didn’t. We and the judges were so impressed with the quality of designs all models were chosen as winners and as a result, we have decided that all the names of each team will be placed on the final flight simulator.

The flight simulator prototype, dubbed, ‘Pheonix’, will be completed by the end of April 2016 with the judging in early May and June. We will know in June if we are successful in our bid to win funding from Boeing to complete the build.