MAAA Wingspan

16 Six enthusiastic Year 9-12 students and a teacher successfully acquired their Remote Pilot’s Licence in an accomplishment that Melbourne Girls Grammar School, along with the Institute for Drone Technology and the Centre for Educational Enterprise, were understandably proud to congratulate. As a part of the School’s Student Enterprise program, that aims to empower students to enter a changing workforce, students had the opportunity to obtain this licence, which certifies holders to fly a remotely piloted aircraft or an UAV for commercial work purposes. Achieving the licence was a significant triumph, as the students and teacher extensively studied elements of aviation theory and its regulations, learnt to professionally pilot drones, while demonstrating mastery of the concepts by passing a challenging theoretical and practical flying exam. The girls’ graduation will no doubt positively contribute to the growing number of commercial female drone pilots in Australia. Significantly, one Year 9 student, 14-year-old Sophie Paterson, became the youngest female remote pilot in Australia. Year 11 student, Olivia Perkins, says the course was a revelation and believes that taking part in the program inspired her to challenge preconceived notions that aviation is exclusively amale-dominated sport. “The percentage of female pilots at Australia’s major airlines ranges fromabout four to nine per cent,” she said. “Womenmake up as little as a quarter of the total STEMworkforce. Soon, I aim to get my first commercial job involving drones, which could possibly extend into a full-time career.” The students were joined by science teacher Garth Kates, who signed ACQUIRING THEIR REMOTE PILOT’S LICENCE HAS RESULTED IN AEROMODELLING EMPOWERMENT FOR STUDENTS OF MELBOURNE GIRLS GRAMMAR SCHOOL YOUNG FEMALE STUDENTS TAKE OFF FOR DRONE PILOTING SUCCESS