Flying High - Aviation at Lauriston

‘Too often we give children answers to remember, rather than problems to solve.’ Roger Lewin

Two decades ago, Lauriston was the only girls’ school to offer Aviation. This year we were delighted to offer a new STEM elective “Aviation & Space Science”, covering units such as The History of Flight & Space Travel, Aerodynamics, Meteorology, Navigation & Flight Planning, Human Factors, and Astrophysics. For our Year 10 students, the highlight of the course was an inaugural excursion to Moorabbin airport, where they had the opportunity to sit in the pilot’s seat, experience a full-motion simulator session, and explore some of the iconic aircraft at The Australian National Aviation Museum.

STEM at Lauriston is about teaching our girls the ability to combine technical and collaborative skills, to be empathetic, comfortable with change, and to have the capacity to critically engage with new technologies. These skills will be in high demand in 21st-century workplaces.

Zara Dennis, Lauriston Science teacher and STEM Lead Teacher, is a passionate advocate of STEM. She is also an author and a pilot and has been using her love of aviation to create STEM events and opportunities for our students. Troubled by the general lack of knowledge about STEM career opportunities for women and motivated by the question ‘Where are the female pilots?’, Zara was inspired to raise the profile of a career in Aviation.

Women in Aviation Breakfast

Lauriston students from Years 7–12 zoomed with an all-female Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) aviation panel – comprising a Qantas pilot, RFDS Flight Nurse and Fundraiser Manager – to hear about opportunities in aviation. The speakers provided engaging anecdotes and discussion and we hope their passion inspired our girls to be courageous and confident and believe their dreams are possible.

Aviation and Space Week

Zara also organised the Aviation and Space Week just before lockdown.4, aimed at inspiring our girls to consider a future in STEM. Have you ever wanted to pilot a plane? Our students did just that in the Avserve Flight Simulator.

The simulator was just one of the fun and engaging activities Zara organised during the week. Year 12 STEM Leaders hosted a Paper Plane competition at lunchtime for Years 7 & 8; and the RFDS, as well as Kathy Mexted, pilot and author of Australian Women Pilots, spoke to the girls about careers in aviation. 

If the growing opportunities in STEM subjects and opportunities at Lauriston is anything to go by, the future for girls in STEM has never looked brighter.

Read more about other awesome STEM activities and our FabLearn Lab.