Although Scottish schools are back in session, this week hundreds of school children are taking a field trip to an airport to learn all about the importance of Science, Technology, English and Maths at the Scottish Airshow STEM event.

Hosted by Glasgow Prestwick Airport in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, the University of West Scotland, NATS and a number of other organisations, the programme will give secondary school and further education students from different regions of the West Coast of Scotland and the Central Belt a chance to learn more about how these subjects are applied to different industries, including the aviation sector.

Representatives from our Prestwick Air Traffic Control Centre and the SPACE team at our headquarters in Hampshire are at the event to talk all about how Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering are crucial to aviation and air traffic management.

Yesterday (Monday 29th August) we had a successful start to the five-day programme, with classes of secondary school students coming over to learn about what NATS does and how these core subjects are the backbone to safely maintaining the invisible infrastructure in the sky and working on new innovative ways to manage air traffic.

The students put on virtual reality headsets to get an insight of what it’s like in the seat of an air traffic controller at Heathrow Airport and tried our mini games which simulate the skills required to manage air traffic. Others also tried their hand at our “continuous descent hoops” game, in which they tried to fly a paper aeroplane through a series of decreasing hoops to illustrate how Continuous Descent Operations (CDO) work. CDOs fly aircraft smoothly into landing, helping to reduce noise, fuel burn and emissions.

Some 750 students are expected to attend the event across the week and hopefully we can help give them an insight into some key air traffic management concepts through our exciting games.

We’re here all week at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, so we welcome all the students attending to try out some of our games.

It’s incredibly important that the students get a taster of how the STEM subjects they’re studying now (or that they may choose to study) are integral to the management of the skies. After all, they could be the engineers or air traffic controllers of the future.

For more information on the Scottish Airshow STEM event visit Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s website.

If you’d like more information on the careers at NATS, visit our website


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