We had so much fun interacting with 200 girls (Grade 8 to 12) from around Bethlehem in the Free State area at the airfield. We started the day by introducing learners to basic aerodynamics, showed them different controls of aeroplanes and helicopters. We divided the learners into groups of 10 and their task was to research about drone technology and how the technology can be utilised to solve some of the challenges in their communities. Awesome presentations!!! The girls had an opportunity to do their intro flights (Their first flight) and we ended the day with a paper plane challenge. Learners were able to see and learn about different designs of aeroplanes.
ABOUT PARAMOUNT AVIATION ACADEMY
The fly for STEM campaign in Bethlehem was hosted in partnership with Paramount aviation academy. Paramount Aviation Academy is an exclusive flying school in the town of Bethlehem, nestled in the foothills of the Maluti and Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa (SA). The Academy is situated only 20 minutes from Clarens, 2 hours from a world-class ski resort and numerous other fantastic attractions. The academy is also female owned, one of the few that are women-owned in SA. The courses offered include the national pilot license (NPL), Private Pilot license (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL), Night rating, Instrument rating, Bush flying, and Mountain flying. For more information about the academy (http://www.flyparamount.co.za/#services).We are looking forward to having more events with the academy.
ABOUT FLY FOR STEM AFRICA CAMPAIGN
The “Fly for STEM” Africa campaign is a programme aimed at encouraging girls to consider careers in the STEM field with a focus on aviation and space. During the campaign the team will initially fly around South Africa in a small aircraft, covering all nine provinces with the aim of reaching 9000 girls. The campaign will expand to the rest of Africa.
Girls need to see real female role models who participate in STEM subjects. Loss of female interest in the STEM can be partially halted by simply exposing girls to other women who like a STEM. It is, therefore, necessary to make STEM subjects look desirable to girls earlier in life if we hope to retain women in STEM fields later and It is important to have interventions that help increase girls’ and women’s interest in, and engagement with, STEM education.
We had the Mayor’s office represented at the event and they committed to sponsoring 10 girls towards aviation-related studies in 2018.A big thank you to Paramount aviation academy for sponsoring the venue, the catering for all 200 learners, and the intro flights. A big thank you to Aeronautical Society of South Africa (AeSSA) for providing different design paper planes, South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) for providing information brochures, and various companies that are contributing the flying hours towards the “FLY FOR STEM CAMPAIGN”
It was a great pleasure interacting with the learners and sharing my journey with them!!!
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