Newton Room teams up with AviAll for Aviation 4 Girls event at EUROCONTROL
This Thursday over 100 girls and boys, aged 15 to 18, visited the EUROCONTROL headquarters as part of the annual Aviation for All (AviAll) initiative which encourages young people to discover the range of career opportunities available in aviation.
The theme of this year’s event was “The New Now – You are the Future of Aviation.” According to Dr. Tamara Pejovic, AviAll General Secretary and Senior Expert at EUROCONTROL, “the Aviation 4 Girls event is a pinnacle of everything that we, Aviation 4 All, stand for: fun, inspiration, education, networking, collaboration, and the promotion of a diverse and inclusive aviation industry.”
Throughout the morning, participants heard from five young female role models from different areas of aviation. Each speaker shared how they discovered their passion for aviation and how they landed their current role in the field. For example, 24-year-old Nadja Keist spoke about her journey to become an Air Traffic Controller at a regional airport in Switzerland and what the day-to-day of her job looks like, while 29-year-old Lexie Janson shared her experience of becoming the first female electric flying car racing pilot in the world. Each of the five women highlighted the importance of more young girls entering the field of aviation.
The participants spent the afternoon circulating between three different activities. This included a career fair with over 25 different industry partners to help them understand how to transform their passions into a job, learning how to fly a drone with the team from DroneMasters Academy, and an opportunity to visit the Mobile Newton Room. There, they were able to take flight on advanced simulators with the support of Newton Flight Simulator Instructors – many of whom were trained pilots and air traffic controllers from EUROCONTROL. The visitors also worked with Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) instructors to learn more about how to deconflict and guide air traffic.
Federico Petrocchi from the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC) speaks about his role as an Air Traffic Controller to students visiting the Mobile Newton Room as part of the Aviation 4 Girls event.
In the lead-up to the Aviation 4 Girls event, the Mobile Newton Room was onsite and in operation on EUROCONTROL’s premises for almost two weeks. A team of 20 dedicated volunteers from different departments at EUROCONTROL were trained by the Newton team to lead the Up in the Air with Numbers module. In total, 250 students from seven different Belgian secondary schools visited the Newton Room during nine days of programming.
“The Newton Room initiative reminded me of when I started working in the aviation industry many years ago. I was so interested and I had so many questions. It was nice to meet youth who were interested in the same passion and to have the opportunity to transmit my experience and knowledge,” said Kristel Pyliser, who works in the Airspace Data Domain at EUROCONTROL and volunteered as a Newton Teacher during the project.
A volunteer from EUROCONTROL works as a Newton Flight Simulator Instructor, explaining the protocol for taking off in a flight simulator to a student in the Mobile Newton Room.
“We were delighted to host both events at our premises,” said Sabrina Depicker, Head of Human Resources and Services at EUROCONTROL. “These initiatives are fully in line with our commitment to attract younger generations to technical careers in aviation and our objective to build a diverse, gender-balanced, and inclusive workplace. It was really great to welcome so many young people and give them the opportunity to learn more about what our sector has to offer and to hear from truly inspiring young women about how to transform a passion for aviation into a job.”
Taken together, the successful delivery of practical, aviation-focused education in the Mobile Newton Room and the culminating Aviation 4 Girls event highlights the importance of continued cooperation and partnership in engaging young people in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects and also pushing for a more inclusive and diverse future in all industries – including aviation.
More than 20 volunteers from different departments at EUROCONTROL were trained to deliver the educational programming in the Mobile Newton Room.