Senior Design and Technology students will once again fly the flag for Parkes Christian School at the 2018 Moomba Birdman Rally.
The Year 11 and 12 students have lofty standards to live up to after winning the ‘Flying Class’ section of the rally in 2017.
“We managed to fly 11 metres last year, which was enough to take out the ‘Flying Class’ trophy for longest flight of the day,” Parkes Christian School Design and Technology teacher Jason Wynstra said.
“It was such a buzz to come away with the win and the students are really excited to try and defend their title.”
First intended as a fun way for Design and Technology students to engage with their classwork in a practical way, the students now take the competition very seriously.
“A major component of the Design and Technology syllabus is problem solving, so I thought this competition would be a great opportunity to explore that,” Mr Wynstra said.
“How do we construct a glider light enough to fly into the river off a small platform but sturdy enough to safely support a pilot?
“Watching the students come up with creative ways of solving this problem is just so satisfying as a teacher.
“They use STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills to help them create a top-quality aircraft.”
While making the 10-hour trip from Parkes to Melbourne may seem like a lot, the school is more than happy to take part and provide a unique experience for its students.
“We’re the only school in NSW that takes part in the rally,” High School Coordinator Greg Ballantyne said.
“We are committed to providing real-world experiences for our students rather than just burying them in textbooks and theory.
“It’s a far better way for students to learn and they share an experience they will never forget.”
Mr Ballantyne also hinted that there are more exciting projects on the way for the school.
“We have a project that Google is very interested in at the moment and another that I have to keep under wraps for now,” he said.
“But when that one hopefully takes place later this year, it will be out of this world!”
You can support the students on their birdman rally fundraising page