Budding pilots take flight in class
11 Oct 2017
Armed with penknives and cutting boards, the students carefully fashion model gliders from pieces of wood.
This isn’t an art activity, but an aviation lesson at Changkat Changi Secondary School.
It is part of the Applied Learning Programme (ALP) for Secondary 1 and 2 students, which focuses on developing their skills and knowledge required in aerospace and the aviation industry.
“The ALP creates opportunities for students to be informed and equipped to pursue their next phase of education or possible careers in the industry,” explains Mr Melvin Ng, the school's head of department for science.
Through a mix of hands-on activities and demonstrations, students learn about the principles of flight, coding concepts and how a GPS works. They would get to put their knowledge to practice through various projects and experiments, such as attempting to fly their gliders and planning a drone’s movement using programming software.
Beyond classroom lessons, students also attend learning journeys and take part in external competitions, so that they can see first-hand how the concepts they learn are applied in the real world.
Besides igniting an interest in the aviation industry and aerospace, the programme also provides opportunities for students to hone soft skills, which will be valuable at all stages of their lives.
“Students work in groups during projects or experiments so that they will be able to help one another,” shares Mr Ng. “They learn to understand and work with one another and apply problem-solving skills in either a design activity or a problem scenario. These projects also help them to learn project management.”
For the students, the programme has spurred them to think about their future careers, and they are eager to learn more about the aviation industry even after the programme ends.
“I am enthusiastic about the technology behind drones and would like to learn more about flying drones and what it can do for aerial videography,” says Secondary 3 student Demiral Mohamed Raffe. “Also, I’ve always wanted to be a commercial pilot and I like the idea of flying people to different places in the world. I am definitely keen to learn more about aerospace and aviation. The ALP has provided me with the opportunity to work towards my dreams.”
“One of my job interests is to become an avionics engineer,” adds Secondary 2 student Mohamed Ibrahim S/O Mohamed Yusuf. “I realise I still have a lot of questions and learning beyond the classroom and school, and I definitely hope to have more meaningful and fruitful aerospace and aviation-related experiences and skills that can help me work towards my dream job.”