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Experience of a lifetime

March 9, 2023

On Wednesday 1 March the Year 12 F1 in Schools team, Protiera (David H, Jayden H, Kyle W, Mika K, and Patrick F), were given the fantastic opportunity to visit the Thales labs in Sydney. Thales is one of Australia’s largest Defence contractors who utilise their incredible team of engineers to produce technology to keep Australia and its allies safe.

Throughout the day, we enjoyed some incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences. During our visit to the facility’s avionics laboratory, the team was able to try out a variety of Thales virtual training simulations. These simulations involved many different types of state-of-the-art technologies including virtual reality and a to-scale helicopter cockpit and tested our ability to work as a team while they enacted an escort mission in a militarized zone.

After completing our mission, with limited success, the group were able to enjoy some remarkable demonstrations and presentations of other Thales projects. Our knowledge of Physics and Engineering was tested throughout a tour of the acoustics production facility where a variety of sonar systems were being manufactured before our very eyes. We also received a firsthand glimpse of mechatronics and electrical engineering in a demonstration of Thales’ BlueROV underwater search robot.

In addition to playing with all of the facility’s various ‘toys’, we were also given an opportunity to consider career opportunities and future studies during a lunch with some of the Thales’ engineering interns and graduates. While discussing our studies and journey through the F1 in Schools competition, we noticed many similarities between our applied learning in school and the various roles and projects within Thales and the STEM field. Maybe school really is important after all!

This brilliant experience will undoubtedly help us in our upcoming F1 in Schools National Finals in Sydney later this month. It was certainly an experience that will stick with us for life!

Written by Kyle W, Protiera Team Manager


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