Students take flight

September 28, 2017

Ivanhoe Grammar students learning how to operate a glider.

Last week was a busy week for not only the Gliding Club of Victoria, but also the skies above Benalla.

The Gliding Club hosted two school groups, Ivanhoe Girls Grammar and Billanook College for their annual Physics Camp.

This week-long extension of the classroom teaches Year 11 physics students the basics of flight, aerodynamics and even allows the students to enjoy a flight to help consolidate their newfound aerodynamic knowledge.

The Gliding Club of Victoria organised six volunteer gliding instructors to help get the students into the air last week.

Gliding Club of Victoria vice-president Jonathan McAliece said he had been a long-time volunteer instructor for the course and wishes he had this type of opportunity when he was in school.

‘‘More than 50 students and staff stay in the Benalla Gateway Lifestyle accommodation centre and it tends to give the students quite a thrill when we fly over the top of their cabins giving them the opportunity to look down at the room they’re staying in,’’ Mr McAliece said.

The camp is now in its 25th year and organisers are happy for it to continue into the future.

‘‘The camp is truly unique in that the staff running it have perfected the experiments, lessons and activities over the 25-year period the camp has been running for,’’ Mr McAliece said.

‘‘If you were to stick your head in the ‘classroom’ you’d be blown away by some of these experiments the students are engaged in.

‘‘At times they even give us pilots a run for our money.

‘‘This is a great week that not only the students and staff look forward to, but also our instructors.’’

During the week students took part in several hands-on experiments including producing their own model rockets.

Given the current issues surrounding the Gliding Club and its potential move away from Benalla, the physics camp is a good example of one of the ways the club supports the local economy.

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