Manchester Airport’s AeroZone education centre celebrates first anniversary
· Facility was opened by Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham, on 7 February last year
· More than 3,500 school pupils have benefitted since its launch
· AeroZone offers teaching space and interactive zones designed to teach children about workings of an airport and careers on offer
A state-of-the-art educational facility at Manchester Airport celebrates its first anniversary today.
AeroZone, which gives children the chance to learn about the workings of an airport and the various careers available, was opened on 7 February last year by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
The AeroZone project was funded through Manchester Airport’s £1bn transformation programme, which also included work to expand and modernise Terminal 2. More than 3,500 school pupils from across the region have benefitted from the facility since its launch.
AeroZone provides a mix of teaching space and interactive zones, including a mocked-up plane cabin with real seats and a cockpit, complete with flight simulator. In addition to exploring these areas, a school visit will typically include guest speakers working in various roles at the airport, giving youngsters the chance to put questions to them.
The experience is designed to complement the curriculum and provide pupils with new skills and insights they can take back to the classroom with them.
In addition, the facility also hosts a series of targeted educational programmes. ‘Tech to Terminal’ opens pupils’ eyes to the world of technology in aviation, whilst ‘Girls in Science’ sessions allow pupils an opportunity to hear from women working in ‘STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields, within the aviation industry, discussing the career pathways available to the next generation of the workforce.
Pupils from Newall Green Primary School visited the facility on its first birthday and were treated to a special programme of activity including treats and balloons, an airport scavenger hunt in our new Terminal 2 and guest speakers from the Manchester Airport Fire Service.
A group of pupils from Newall Green Primary School in Wythenshawe visited the facility on its first birthday and were treated to a special programme of activity including treats and balloons, an airport scavenger hunt in our new Terminal 2 and guest speakers from the Manchester Airport Fire Service.
Rachel Bond, the group’s teacher, said: “Our pupils have had a fantastic time at AeroZone today. It’s a hands-on and interactive experience and it aligns really well with our History lessons this term, where we are looking at early aviators. The team at AeroZone were really welcoming, brilliant with the pupils, and ensured they got the best out of the experience.”
Marcella MRabety, Head of Education, Skills and Employment at Manchester Airports Group, said: “We are incredibly proud of the work we do in engaging with schools in our neighbouring communities, spreading awareness of the variety of opportunities available to pupils on their doorstep.
“We want to inspire them to think big, and to ensure that their visit to the airport leaves a lasting impression. AeroZone is a big part of that vision and it is fantastic that we have been able to reach more than 3,500 pupils in our first 12 months.
“As of today, we are now taking bookings for the next academic year. We were fully booked very quickly last year, so if schools are interested in seeing what AeroZone can offer them, we would encourage them to get in touch with us as soon as possible, so as not to miss out.”
AeroZone is part of a wider programme of educational outreach at Manchester Airport, as outlined in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy. Airport operator MAG has committed to ensuring ‘opportunity for all’ as one of the Strategy’s key objectives; this includes initiatives such as its ‘MAG Connect’ scheme, aiming to reach up to 12,000 young people per year through a range of outreach activity, and the Airport Academy, which helps jobseekers develop their skills and access job opportunities at the airport.