[from left] Joseph Chan, Daniel Anugratnam, Bryan Ho and Muhammad Hafiz B.Jamaluddin are members of the Northbrooks Youth Flying Club who are passionate about flying.
Daniel Paul Anugratnam, 15, has always been intrigued by how aeroplanes overcome gravity and take flight despite their weight.
"I want to learn more about how these machines fly," said Daniel, who is a member of Northbrook Secondary School's Youth Flying Club (YFC).
The Northbrooks Youth Flying Club was established in 2003 and currently has 40 students. Students in the club are exposed to three different areas of aeronautics - control-line flying (glider), radio-controlled flying and flight simulations.
Putting this into practice, the students work on examining ways that help a plane fly further and with greater stability. Factors such as how the plane is designed contribute to the lift, pressure, weight and stability of the flight.
"It is very important to know our planes well as we have to apply the theory of aerodynamics and ensure that the correct materials are used. The way we construct the planes are also very important, so we have to do research by reading up a lot on theories which will help us build the best plane,' said Joseph Chan, a Secondary Two student in the Youth Flying Club.
Students in the club are exposed to three different areas of aeronautics - control-line flying (glider), radio-controlled flying and flight simulation. The lift, pressure and weight will determine how far and straight a plane flies.
The efforts invested by the club did not go to waste. In the recent Glidefest Competition organised by Republic Polytechnic, the team emerged Champion in the Best Flight category by constructing a plane that achieved a flight distance of 23 metres! The average distance travelled by the other planes ranged from 17 to 20 metres.
The club also participates regularly in the Singapore Amazing Flying Machine competition that tests their understanding of flight principles, creativity in aircraft design, as well as their skills in flying the aircraft models.
Although the training and preparation work for the annual competition is rigorous, students look forward to creating innovative planes that perform better aerodynamically. "The sense of fulfilment makes everything worth it,' said Bryan Ho Qi Ming, the President of the Northbrook Youth Flying Club.
Applied Learning through Aerospace
The school attained its niche in 'Applied Learning through Aerospace' this year and the aerospace programme adopts an applied learning approach which emphasises the relevance of applying skills and knowledge to the 'real world'.
This is an example of the Applied Learning programme that Education Minister Heng Swee Keat announced during the Ministry of Education's annual Work Plan Seminar in 2013, where emphasis is placed on the application of thinking skills, as well as to apply knowledge in authentic settings. This is to help students appreciate the relevance and value of what they learn in the curriculum and develop a stronger motivation to acquire knowledge and skills.
The aerospace programme is not limited to members of the Northbrooks Youth Flying Club, but also extends to students in the school who may be interested. Students are exposed to aviation history, aeronautical theories and they even get to construct a plane as part of the aerospace project work, which lasts for about 10 - 15 weeks.
They also learn how to build gliders, fly radio-controlled planes and the Secondary Two classes even get to go through flight simulation classes.
The school attained its niche in 'Applied Learning through Aerospace' in 2013 and the aerospace programme emphasises the relevance of applying skills and knowledge to authentic situations.
"The school is exploring the option of opening up the aerospace programme to students from all levels and streams. Getting the students interested in flight and aerospace from young helps to open up different pathways for them to make their career choices, especially in the rapidly growing aerospace industry," said Mr Venugopal Ramasamy, the teacher-in-charge of Northbrooks Youth Flying Club.
The aerospace programme is a hit among students, and for Daniel and Joseph, one of the main reasons why they chose to enrol in Northbrooks Secondary.
One of the partners that Northbrooks Youth Flying Club works with is the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC). SYFC currently collaborates with 17 secondary schools to enable students aged between 12 and 16 years old to learn more about flying through aviation knowledge, simulator flying and aeromodelling activities.
In fact, Muhammad Hafiz B.Jamaluddin, 17, former student of the school, was so inspired by the prospect of becoming a pilot that he is currently pursuing private flying lessons with SYFC.