The Royal Aeronautical Society, in partnership with Boeing, launched The Falcon Initiative, an innovative project that aims to inspire and motivate 13-18 year-olds by providing them with an opportunity to engage with a practical, fun and educationally-relevant engineering and business project. Importantly, this project will enable students to experience the practical application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in a real world context.
The Falcon Initiative provides funding to selected schools to enable them to build a fully functional Flight Simulator. Through engagement with a targeted activity which relates directly to the current National Curriculum, the project aims to inspire students to pursue the further study of STEM subjects.
The Falcon encourages schools to design and build their own flight simulator. In Phase 1, 10 schools were selected to receive a £500 contribution to their project, with the opportunity for two schools to win £5000 each to complete a full simulator concept following judging in May and June.
Following the finals event in June 2016 we selected two schools for Phase 2 of the programme, Dene Magna School in Gloucestershire and Ryburn Valley High School from West Yorkshire, who each have some fantastic ideas.
The society were delighted to have one of the winning schools from the recent Falcon Initiative programme, Dene Magna School also attended the Air Day at RAF Yeovilton in July 2016. The pupils and teacher brought along their winning prototype flight simulator to showcase what their full model would be able to achieve. The pupils were programming the simulator, explaining to the bystanders what they were doing and helping out with the paper plane building challenge!
We held a workshop for both schools at Coventry University on 17 October 2016 to plan the next steps for their projects with the Society’s judges, chaired by Past President Jenny Body FRAeS. Both Dene Magna and Ryburn Valley High School gave presentations on how they saw their designs unfolding and we look forward to seeing how those ideas come to fruition by the summer of 2017.