Making a metal toolbox was the height of accomplishment in manual arts for many, in contrast, St Columban’s College, Caboolture students are building a real flying Van’s RV-12iS aircraft.
This plane will be fully certified and operational, as it takes to the skies – and businesses can see this happen with their logo on it.
Innovation and Partnerships Leader, St Columban’s College, Caboolture, Simone Buckingham said the aeroplane would take about a year to build, and there are sponsorship opportunities available.
“Over a course of 12-months to a year and a half, we will see the students and mentors build an entire aircraft here on the college campus,” Ms Buckingham said in the video above.
“One of the benefits of this program for the local community will be that we will see our young students develop skills that will create workplace ready employees.
“We see not only the benefit for those individual students, but for the wider community.
“They will be able to see our students grow over the course of a year and a half to two years.
“They’ll see them not only build skills, but they’ll see them build those soft skills that we call employability skills which will, in the long run, be better for the whole community.”
Further, Ms Buckingham outlined the benefits to business owners beyond getting their logo on the plane.
“Throughout the course of the program, we have plans to have open nights where local businesspeople can come along and see what their sponsorship has contributed to and see how the aircraft has grown from building a toolkit to a final product,” Ms Buckingham explained.
College Principal, Michael Connolly echoed Ms Buckingham’s remarks while he was at a launch for the initiative.
“When we talk about bringing real industry experience to students, there can be nothing much better than this initiative here,” Principal Connolly said.
“You know, we hear our politicians all the time talk about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and bringing STEM to our students in high school.
“Well, here it is.
“If you want a STEM initiative, it’s right here. This is the best in Australia and it’s happening.”
Also at the launch event, Federal Member of Parliament for Longman, Terry Young committed to driving support behind the St Columban’s College aerospace program.
“I commend Mike and the school on what they’ve done,” Mr Young stated.
“I love the fact that I’m going to go out there and hunt up some of my corporate people that I know for a bit of sponsorship – and try and get some stickers on that plane so we can build this thing and get it going.”
Executive Director, Brisbane Catholic Education, Pam Betts expressed her excitement over the initiative and how it supports innovative learning.
“So, there’s really deep and genuine learning happening through this activity, which also engages young people,” Ms Betts exclaimed.
“They’re more deeply engaged in the learning process when it’s engaging for them.
“And that’s what we have to do in schools.”
Ms Betts went on to talk about the strong partnerships the college has built.
“But the other thing that I’ve witnessed this afternoon is the range of partnerships, the people who have come to show their support for this project and all those who have been involved because the other important aspect of education is we don’t stand with a wall around our schools and not let people in,” Ms Betts acknowledged.
“Our schools are part of the community.
“And Terry, you’re very aware of that, and it’s great to have your support here.
“And so, we want to invite partners into our schools, because that adds to the rich experience of our young people and that helps them to become the best they can be.”