Students from our Diplomas in Aviation Management & Services (AMS), Aerospace Electronics (AEL) and Aerospace Engineering (AEG) visited various aerospace facilities in the USA, as part of a study trip in October 2012. AEL student, Yeo Ze Xian, tells us about the trip…
The students at ERAU
Such study trips to overseas facilities and attractions are a common feature of the diploma courses at Temasek Poly; they allow students like us to get a real life look at what we’ve learnt in class.
Our study trip to the USA was one such eye opener. One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Florida, one of the top aeronautical universities in the world. There, we got an inside look into its aerospace training programme and what university life there was like.
Through the tours at ERAU, we got a deeper insight into airplane systems and how they work. It also allowed us to have a feel of being a pilot, by trying out the flight simulators used to train student pilots. There was also a Wright Simulator which simulates flying of the first-ever powered aircraft invented by the Wright brothers in 1903. The campus itself is right next door to Daytona Beach Airport, thus making it easy for ERAU students to have their pilot training. In addition to tours of the ERAU campus, we got to see various laboratories and facilities used for cutting-edge aviation research. A friend of mine, Lim Min Yang (AEG), commented that he found the hands-on experience with the advanced flight simulators the most stimulating part of the trip!
Next, we checked out the GAT Trainer which taught us about our vestibular system, and how our body reacts under a different atmospheric pressure when up in the sky. That’s when we will begin to experience nausea, headaches and even drowsiness. The GAT Trainer simulates these effects, and it was really cool, really unique! I doubt that this can be found in Singapore. A fellow student on the trip, Dhrue Ketankuma Goda (AMS), said that he found the trip, particularly the GAT experience, the most memorable.
We also visited the Kennedy Space Centre, which is the place from which many spacecraft had been launched into space. There, we were overawed by the humongous space shuttle and the massive engines. It’s certainly so different from seeing them in pictures, where they look so tiny. Not so in actual life! We also got to see the R&D work being done – perhaps to come up with a revolutionary space shuttle which would take mankind into space for a galaxy tour to view the stars, as easily as how we would sit on duck-bus to view the buildings in our city!
A space shuttle under construction at the Centre
But it was not all work and no play. We had an “off” day for rest and recreation, during which we had planned to visit the theme parks! We could choose between Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida, and we decided on the latter. There, we watched the sunrise at Daytona Beach and soaked in the early morning rays of a memorable study trip that we would never forget.
After the whole trip, we sat in a circle and discussed what each of us felt were the best parts of the trip! “The highlight of the trip was definitely the visit to the Kennedy Space Centre where we learnt a lot about NASA and its history. It was awesome!” Jeremy Wong (AMS) exclaimed! It was interesting hearing different points of views from different courses and how all of our courses relate to one another.
On the whole, the experience was great! We would never have been able to see and touch, much less get to use, many of the equipment that we experienced on this trip. I found it a very important aspect of our diploma training in TP, because such trips help us to visualise and understand what we have learnt, and to relate theory to practice. We were also able to see and feel – first-hand – the lifestyle of students in a USA campus too! The trip was an eye opener for me. And last but not least, the trip enabled me to meet new friends. Most of us came from different diploma courses but I guess the bonding part went really well and we clicked immediately. This trip would go down as my best experience in Temasek Polytechnic.