Parkes Christian School’s journey to the Moomba Birdman Rally has been hailed a success with $1400 raised for Currajong Disability Services (CDS).
In blustery, unpredictable conditions, the title for the longest flight on March 11 became a virtual lottery, however the Parkes Christian School crew did well to manage five metres from a standing start into the Yarra River.
Design and Technology teacher Jason Wynstra said this distance was short of what the students were hoping for, but it is the experience that really mattered.
“The flight of our craft the Parkes Flyer 2 was forced into a stall by a gust of wind which was accentuated when our support crew had to let go at the end of the platform,” Mr Wynstra said.
“Although we lost our momentum, the aircraft levelled off and gently descended into the Yarra performing exceptionally well.
“With our charity points added we achieved a very respectable 14 metres.”
Although the school wasn’t able to defend its title won last year, Mr Wynstra said the experience is not all about winning a trophy or recognition for the school.
“Along the way we raised funds to support a charity of our choice and this year we raised $1400 for Currajong Disability Services with the support of our school and the Birdman community,” he said.
“Students worked alongside different community groups to realise their design; they test and analyse, and make modifications to create the best possible craft for the competition
“The way the students worked together in a real-world, collaborative way was fantastic.
“And seeing them bond throughout the process and over the weekend through their shared experiences is what makes it all worthwhile for me as an educator.”
Pilot Phil Seeley was very impressed by the construction of the ‘Parkes Flyer 2’.
“It was lots of fun. I know how difficult it is to balance all the bits of a glider, it still amazes me how the hang gliding manufactures make them work so well,” Mr Seeley said.
Parkes Christian School is very focussed on providing students with experiences that are relevant to the real world.
The Moomba Birdman Rally is just one way that students are able to experience this, and it is a project the school is committed to in the future.
“It is really important for our students to have a range of experiences and to understand that there is more to life than the little bubble that can be created at school,” Mr Wynstra said.
“Students working on the project have already evaluated our flight and are developing concepts for the Parkes Flyer 3.”
*Story courtesy of Parkes Champion Post.