The sky’s the limit for Bristol students

Year 8 pupils at Bristol Metropolitan academy will build their own aircraft as part of an Airbus Flying Challenge, which aims to engage the young people in science, technology, engineering and maths.

A spokesperson for the aerospace company’s programme, which is being run for the first time in the UK, says the challenge will give the students a real opportunity to work with engineers at the organisation’s Filton site where they will experience what it means to work in aviation engineering, as well as learn about flight, aircraft design, manufacture and testing.

The pupils will take part in 20 three-hour sessions before spending a week visiting local aviation related organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Bristol Airport and an RAF base.

They also will develop a skills portfolio based on their experience and graduate with flying experience.

Sally Apps, senior principal at the Bristol Metropolitan, says the school jumped at the opportunity to be part of the programme.

“It offers our young people an amazing chance to experience the world of work whilst developing confidence. We are so pleased to be able to work with Airbus on this exciting opportunity.

“We will ensure that this programme reaches out and enthuses the whole school as well as those lucky enough to be directly part of it.”

Catherine Rushforth, Airbus’s UK Foundation representative, says: “We have taken the programme run in other areas of Airbus and adapted it to specific UK needs.

“It promises to be an exciting and challenging programme and quite literally has the potential to change the lives of those who are part of it.

“We hope that the experience working with us will lead to all participants finishing school with good grades and potentially towards a career in the aerospace industry.”

The programme starts in September and will run through to July 2017.

Pictured: Catherine Rushforth (back left) and John Hobday from Airbus with Bristol Metropolitan Academy principal Sally Apps (far right) and pupils from the school

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