The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Fly high with WCHS’ Aeronautical Science Club

Photo courtesy of Sam Bawden
Aeronautical Science Club takes off this year with unprecedented success.

The Aeronautical Science Club has taken off this year and wants more members to come along for the ride! In its first year as a club, it has had remarkable success, with around 25 regular members who come every month to learn about aeronautical science. The meetings are mainly built around getting to know every aspect of this field as well as making sure club members have a lot of fun while doing so. Even though the club is brand-new, Sam Bawden (president of the club and a sophomore at WCHS) has been interested in this field for a long time. His interests have also taken others along for the ride like WCHS sophomore Ian Wang.

Bawden and his co-president Santi Londono (WCHS sophomore) realize that their members might not have the same level of experience or passion for the topic, but would still love for students to be part of the club community. Those who join the club may not go in with a love of aeronautics, but they often leave with a newly launched one.

“There is absolutely no experience required,” Bawden said. “We are not building planes or jet engines (maybe one day). We are simply just creating a community based on common interest where all of us can bond over our love for aeronautics and aerospace.”

Something about the emphasis on “community” has made their club so successful. Many clubs struggle in their first year, finding it hard to make engaging lessons to a less experienced audience and to make their club known, but none of those problems seem to have affected this club.

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“A big part of why it is really fun are the leaders. Santi and Sam both are really cool leaders and handle everything very well,” Wang said.

The general topics they cover include military aircraft, basic physics in flight and the first vehicles for flight. The breadth of their discussions, however, is not the only thing that has made this club so successful. What keeps the members coming back are the fun activities that Bawden and the other leaders try to incorporate into each meeting.

“So far we have worked on developing interesting club lessons, meaning slideshows and fun activities like paper airplane competitions,” Bawden said. “We have learned that we have a very invested and entertaining group of club members, and that there is definitely an audience for the things we like to talk about.”

This club also has many more upcoming plans on the horizon. While everyone is very pleased with the club’s success, they are now working to attract even more students.

“We hope we can get in touch with pilots and engineers and ask them to come give presentations on their professions,” Bawden said. “We also hope to be able to get the club field trip opportunities, possibly to places like the National Air and Space Museum or flight simulators.”

However, the leaders envision growing their club outside of school because of these other activities. They hope that incorporating more of these opportunities, more often, can draw even more members to their club.

“I can almost guarantee that we will make those a routine part of our club experience by next school year,” Bawden said. “We will continue to brainstorm, hopefully with the help of our current club members, fun, exciting and engaging club experiences.”

Regardless of how much the club will grow in future years, the core of the community will stay the same: a love for aeronautical sciences. This shared bond is very powerful and has, and will continue to push the club to new heights.

“I have always had a deep interest in the subject, and wanted to share it with others,” Bawden said, “For me, Aeronautical Science Club and engineering is the epitome of human achievement. Humans never belonged in the air, we could always only ever walk or swim, but aeronautical science makes way for humans to take to the skies or even space.”




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