The Year 9 and 10 students were among the first in Australia to study the P-TECH program that will qualify them for further studies in years 11 and 12, closely aligned with the aerospace industry in Williamtown.
Through P-TECH, the school has partnered with major local employers Ampcontrol Group, BAE Systems, Jetstar Airways, the Varley Group, University of Newcastle and RDA Hunter.
The program included a weekly workshop that even put students in contact with the F/A-18 Hornets – which students said they would “never forget”.
“I was working with [a classmate] on the coding to go with the air pressure pump, which was pretty cool,” Joanna Downey said.
“I got to see firsthand how one would go about programming their name on an LCD screen using simple codes.
“It was hard to get the hang of it, but once I got it, it was great fun.” For Joanna, who’s got a taste for the aerospace industry, that day was packed with highlights.
“I later went down to air flight,” she said.
“They fix and replace parts for the ejection seats and their parachutes.” Skilling Australia created the program that has now been rolled out to 1000 students across 14 schools nationwide.
From next year students will be able to undertake pathways in advanced manufacturing and engineering starting with a Certificate I in Engineering or a pathway in aero skills, commencing with a Cert II in Aero Skills (Statement of Attainment only), or a Cert III in Aviation – remote pilot.
“What’s really exciting is that P-TECH will allow these schools to specialise and become a Centre of Excellence in their chosen STEM pathway,” CEO and co-founder Nicholas Wyman said.
“More than 75 per cent of Australia’s new and emerging industries demand solid STEM skills.”