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Meriden’s Engineering Studies students soar to new heights

Natalie So and Karina Bell in a flight simulator at Sydney Flight College

Meriden’s Engineering Studies students can add pilot training to their list of achievements after delving into the world of aeronautical engineering during a recent trip to Bankstown Airport. Under the guidance of industry experts, the students were introduced to the intricacies of aviation and the career opportunities available in the field.

Led by the Head Flight Instructor at Sydney Flight College, the Meriden girls each had an opportunity to take control of a Boeing 737 aircraft in a state-of-the-art simulator. Prior to taking flight, the girls received instruction about the fundamentals of flight controls, including how to maintain the correct altitude and perform ground and aerial navigation.

Eager to put their newfound knowledge to the test, the students embarked on the challenging task of executing smooth take-offs, graceful landings, and even advanced aerial manoeuvres such as barrel rolls. Additionally, the girls received an exclusive tour of a revolutionary new carbon fibre jet, which will soon fly dignitaries and politicians around the country.

Engineering teacher, Mr Jonathan Chan, accompanied the girls on the excursion and said the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for the students.

“The day incorporated a high level of interactivity, and the girls were inspired by experts who stressed the importance of increasing female representation in aviation roles,” said Mr Chan.

“I believe that for many of the students, this experience has instilled a sense of confidence to pursue careers in STEM fields.”

For Natalie So, who is planning to study engineering (Mechatronics) and commerce following the HSC, the exhilarating experience is just one example of why she finds studying engineering so rewarding.

“The highlight of the excursion was flying the flight simulator. The replica of the cockpit of a Boeing 737 aircraft combined with the immersive 180-degree screen created a remarkably realistic environment that made it feel as though I was soaring through the sky!” said Natalie.

Further expressing her enthusiasm for studying engineering, Natalie said it challenges her critical thinking skills and pushes her to think outside the box and explore new possibilities.

“I love the hands-on nature of engineering and applying your theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. There are also continuous opportunities for learning as the field is constantly evolving with new technologies, techniques and discoveries,” she said.

Year 12 student, Christine McKenzie, echoed Natalie’s sentiments, emphasising her enjoyment of the hands-on nature of engineering.

“Studying engineering helps you to understand why things are built the way they are and how it affects society. There are many opportunities to experiment, build your own projects and learn how things work, as well as how they can be improved,” said Christine.

The excursion has left a lasting impact on the students and opened their minds to the immense possibilities in this dynamic field, with some girls now considering a career in the aeronautical engineering industry, perhaps as future pilots or engineers!

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