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Aircraft engineers of the future take flight at Cardiff and Vale College Aero Challenge

Budding aircraft engineers from schools across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan have been put through their paces at a special Aero Challenge held by Cardiff and Vale College.

The Year 10 pupils travelled to the College’s renowned International Centre for Aerospace Training (ICAT) for the annual Aero Challenge. Held to mark National Science and Engineering Week, the competition has been designed to give scholl pupils a taste of the various tasks involved in the aerospace engineering industry and to show the value of vocational education.

An all-girl team from Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School beat off competition from ten other schools to win the Aero Challenge. The competition involved tests of hand and eye skills and project management. The pupils also got to try their hands at the College’s flight simulator.

All-girl team from Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School

Bryn Hafren pupil Bethan Klee said: “I really enjoyed the day as the challenges we completed were fun and the skills we used were useful for any job. The tasks were aimed at a variety of skills and all encouraged teamwork and communicaton.”

Her team mate, Katie Pascoe, added: “In my opinion, the Aero Challenge was a great experience and something I will never forget! I was able to show individual and team skills – ones which contributed to us winning!

“My favourite part of the challenge was the flight simulator. This is because it was something that I had never done before. However, I also liked the cabin crew challenge because it was something fun that got everyone involved. 

“I took many new skills and a lot of information away from the day – it is definitely something I would want to do again!”

Bryn Hafren Maths Teacher Miss Bryant said:

“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Cardiff and Vale College for such n interesting and inspirational day for the girls. The facilities were excellent – the hangar with the planes and equipment definitely has the wow factor as you walk in!

“The range of activities was excellent, drawing upon many skills and keeping the girls motivated throughout. Each activity strengthened their teamwork and the competition element helped them to strive to do the best they could.

“Feedback from the pupils has been 100% positive, which was echoed by their parents at a parents’ evening a few days later.

“Most of all, the day has boosted the confidence of the girls greatly, not only with problem solving skills but with their team work and communication. It is a day that I would fully recommend to all schools – we are looking forward to coming back again next year to defend our title and beat our score!”