Students are up for flying challenge

July 11 2016

STUDENTS at Bristol Metropolitan Academy in Fishponds have been given to work with Airbus engineers to help build an aircraft.


STUDENTS at Bristol Metropolitan Academy in Fishponds have been given to work with Airbus engineers to help build an aircraft.

Year 8 pupils attended a an assembly where representatives from the company offered them the opportunity that could change their lives.

The school has been chosen by the aircraft manufacturer to be part of a programme called the Flying Challenge which aims to inspire and engage young people in science, technology, engineering and maths.

The project will provide up to 30 young people with the chance to work with Airbus engineers at their Filton site to experience first-hand what it means to work in an aviation engineering environment as well as learning about flight, aircraft design, manufacture and tests, which will result in them making a flying aircraft.    

Funded by the Airbus Foundation, the Flying Challenge is running successfully in other Airbus sites including France, the USA and Spain; however this is the first time that it is being run in the UK.

During the assembly, a total of 180 12 and 13-year-olds were invited to apply for the 30 places on offer for the programme of 20 three-hour sessions at Filton.

It will also involve a week-long flying scholarship that will see them visit other local aviation related organisations such as Rolls Royce, Bristol Airport and an RAF base.  

In addition, they will develop a skills portfolio based on their experience, be able to work towards a nationally recognised qualification and graduate with a flying experience.

Sally Apps, senior principal at Bristol Metropolitan Academy, said: “The programme offers our young people an amazing chance to experience the world of work whilst developing confidence and 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, said: “We have taken the Flying Challenge programme run in other areas of Airbus and adapted it based on 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 Airbus Foundation Flying Challenge is run by the Airbus Foundation with the support of local education charity ABLAZE and aviation charity fly2help.  

The programme officially starts in September 2016 and will run through to July 2017 when the students will officially graduate from the first UK Flying Challenge.