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Quebec’s aerospace sector targets young aviators

April 27, 2012, Mirabel, Que. - Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, today reaffirmed its commitment to encouraging students in school, unveiling a series of scientific presentations entitled "The sky is the limit!"
The presentations are aimed at demystifying the aerospace industry and promoting rewarding careers in the sector to Grade 5 and 6 students attending schools in the Laurentians.


April 27, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

"To encourage young people to build their dreams and nurture their professional aspirations, the aerospace sector has decided to get involved at the elementary school level. Through a fun guided educational activity, the initiative helps make students aware of careers in science and technology, introducing them to experts who work with aerospace companies and who are true role models for the younger generation," said Suzanne M. Benoît, president of Aéro Montréal.

"Many new qualified workers will be needed over the next few years to meet industry needs. If we want the Greater Montreal region to remain at the forefront of the global aerospace sector, we need to lay the groundwork now by sparking and maintaining interest among a new generation of skilled workers. This initiative is highly stimulating and promising, and Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be associated with it," added Kevin Smith, vice president, human resources, at Pratt & Whitney Canada.

This innovative initiative was launched in association with the Conseil du Loisir Scientifique de la région Métropolitaine (CLSM) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation Canada, with financial support from the Conférence régionale des élus des Laurentides (CRÉ) and the participation of aerospace giants such as Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bombardier Aerospace, L-3 MAS, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty and Sonaca Montréal. It gives young people a chance to put themselves in the shoes of an aerospace engineer through interactive activities in the classroom.

Working in teams, these budding engineers compete to build airplanes, in accordance with the laws of physics that apply to such concepts as aerodynamics, inherent in the construction of an aircraft. Technicians and engineers from companies with operations in the Laurentians region also participate in the classroom activities and share their career experiences with the students.

This tour of scientific presentations began as a pilot project in 2010 in the Longueuil region, where hundreds of elementary school students were introduced to the aerospace sector. In the Laurentians, nearly 50 elementary schools, in Blainville, Boisbriand, Bois-des-Filion, Brownsburg-Chatham, Deux-Montagnes, Lorraine, Mirabel, Rosemere, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Saint-Eustache, Saint-Jérome, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Thérèse and Terrebonne, from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, have participated in the program. At the end of this pilot project, nearly 4,500 Grade 5 and 6 students in the Laurentians will have taken part in the interactive scientific sessions.