Students are given an insight into Aeronautical Engineering, with a competitive twist.

Students are given an insight into Aeronautical Engineering, with a competitive twist.

Ten students from the Wey Valley School were given a chance to try-out and develop their engineering problem-solving skills in a competition for students, held at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton.

The event is held each year at the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm Museum, for students of secondary school age who are looking to move into careers in engineering. The competition gave the engineering students an insight of the challenges faced in design problem solving, and the importance of working as part of a team to develop their ideas.


In the day-long challenge event, students were set a task to design and build a mock-up control system for the wings and steering of an aircraft, complete with electronic signals to show that the system was operating correctly. As part of the day students were given a chance to work alongside engineers and pilots, who mentored the teams. They offered advice and support and also judged the event, awarding prizes for the most effective solution to the task.

The students at the Weymouth school spoke about attending the exciting event. Josh Dean, 15 said’ ‘I really enjoyed the challenge and the chance to test out my skills outside of the classroom.  I'm keen on engineering, and so this was a great chance to meet and work with real engineers’.

Bethany Kimber, who is keen to work in aeronautical engineering, said that the event was perfect to confirm that she was following the right career path. ‘I have known that I wanted to work in this area of engineering for a while now, and meeting the mentors at the event was exciting. To see that some of the engineers are female has really inspired me’.

Staff at the Wey Valley School place a high priority upon practical learning for students as an important part of its balanced curriculum. The school is currently developing programs for students to explore careers outside of the classroom, preparing them for apprenticeships, work-based training and university pathways. Chris Newman, Design Technology teacher from Wey Valley and trip lead said, ‘We are very proud to support students who want to attend events such as this, and to see them applying the skills they learn in their lessons’.