Aero Trip 2016

A number of Year 10 pupils recently travelled to Various Cardiff and Vale College campuses’ for their construction and engineering challenges. The events are held to celebrate National Science and Engineering Week and sees teams from secondary schools all over Cardiff and the Vale compete in a number of exciting competitions for budding young engineers.


Six Year 10 pupils took part in an Aero Challenge run at the ICAT Centre in Cardiff Airport.

The day started with a chance to see the facilities and courses available at the college. It was then all go as the pupils were given a number of challenges to complete. The first tested hand eye coordination essential for working with all the small avionic components found in aircraft. From small components to full size planes the pupils’ next activity was to raise a bulldog plane off the ground as if to replicate a tyre change. Teamwork was essential in this and lead by Harry Morgan they managed to secure full points for this task. All the activities took place amongst a number of aircraft and large Gas Turbine Engines in the aircraft hangar.

Next up was the chance to demonstrate their knowledge of flight and fly their own aeroplane in the flight simulator. For most this was a little daunting but some excellent control and landings were shown by William Mallett and Freya Johnson. As well as getting experience of a virtual plane the pupils stepped into the real 747 cabin attached onto the college where they had to perform the inflight safety briefing.

After lunch, for some 2 or 3 lunches, the pupils took part in the “Aircraft Supply Drop”, testing mental agility, quick thinking and ability to solve problems. The day ended with a short presentation of the day’s event with the team from Cowbridge coming out on top. This means the team of six have been entered to find the overall team from all the weeks’ competitors.


A team of pupils lead by team leader Megan undertook the challenge of designing and building a hardscape to include the following elements:

With only a short period of practise time in the morning the team had to not only design their layout but learn the necessary skills to complete the task unaided in the afternoon.

It was the first time that Harry Edwards and Aaran Ragan had attempted tilling before but were quickly able to work together to get a conveyer belt of tile cutting and fixing to produce a rather elaborate design. The boys on the picket fence were able to use what they had learnt in D&T lessons with additional support from the CAVC staff to complete a fantastic looking fence, even if it was a touch too big for the mould (the boys claimed this was not their fault).

After lunch it was then all down to the pupils will no additional help available to complete their final project. All worked at full pace for the 2.5 hours to complete their tasks. There was a last minute change of design with the bricklaying team who added a patriotic “CC” for Cowbridge Comprehensive into their final design.

After a tense wait for the judges to mark and collate all the schools were getting nervous with standards high across the board, all could be in the running. With each school winning one category it came down to the overall marks and the team manager’s totals. The CAVC staff were highly impressed with both Megan in allocating the team to different roles but by all the team for getting stuck in and helping each other in any way they can. It was this that pulled us ahead and secured the victory for Cowbridge!

The school would like to thank all staff from Cardiff and Vale College for organising and assisting both days and we look forward to retaining our titles next year!