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USQ inspires students to soar

High school students attend aviation event at USQ Springfield.

Young aviation enthusiasts weren’t afraid to dream sky high during their visit to USQ Springfield on Wednesday.

The Inspiring Students to Fly event attracted about 100 Year 9 and 10 students from across the state.

The purpose of the event was to introduce young people to the field of aviation, where there is a growing demand for pilots, engineers and management personnel.

Students participated in team-building exercises, competed in a paper plane challenge, learnt about drone technology and talked with USQ’s aviation academic staff and current students about different career opportunities and study pathways.

Among those who participated were Will Shepherdson and Kynan Shields who flew from Emerald to Brisbane to attend.

For Kynan, the highlight of the day was getting behind the controls of USQ’s world-class flight simulator and experiencing what it was like to fly a Boeing 737.

“The simulator was great fun,” the 15-year-old said.

“I don’t know what it’s like to fly a real plane, but it seemed pretty realistic.

“We’re doing a Certificate III in Aviation, but to visit a university campus that offers an aviation degree and have the chance to explore my passion was very exciting.”

Like Kynan, Will has his heart set on attending university to study aviation.

“I have been interested in flying my whole life, so to come here and get an idea of what my future career path might look like was very beneficial,” he said.

“It was definitely worth the trip.”

Head of USQ Aviation Professor Paul Bates said the University was committed to inspiring and educating the next generation of pilots and other aviation professionals.

“The industry is growing at a rapid pace especially in our region, Asia-Pacific, where there is a high demand for pilots,” Professor Bates said.

“It is predicted that the sector needs 617,000 new pilots by 2035 to meet global demand, with almost half of that demand coming from Asia-Pacific.

“There has never been a better time to pursue a career in aviation.”

To learn more about studying aviation at USQ, visit Aviation.

Students holding paper planes
Will Shepherdson and Kynan Shields.