Wembley students get a taste of military life

Teen scientists build glider and go camping

Talented young scientists from tough backgrounds, who are being primed for top universities, got a taste of the high life at a military training centre.

Michael Mason, Adam Mulugeta, both 13, and 14-year-old Dwayne Councill, all from Wembley, were chosen to take part in the Generating Genius, a support programme that helps under-represented groups get to top universities.

The boys from Preston Manor Secondary School, Carlton Avenue East, Wembley, have excelled in their studies and were invited to Royal Air Force College in Lincolnshire, for a week of engineering activities including classes on jet propulsion and designing, building and flying their own gliders.

The RAF got involved with the project in a bid to diversify its workforce. The trio were also schooled in air force discipline with military drills, an overnight camping expedition and simulated shooting.

Michael said: “I was really keen to come on the course, not just because I am interested in science and engineering, but because I wanted to find out more about life in the RAF.”

“The drill was good fun, it’s much more difficult than you would think and I discovered that I am actually quite a good shot.”

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Adam said he has been inspired by Sir Frank Whittle, inventor of the jet engine.

He added: “I am now determined to go to university to study mechanical engineering. Or maybe become a pilot!”

Generating Genius has been running for five years and has helped 28 disadvantaged children get to university, including five at Oxford or Cambridge.

Dr Tony Sewell, a former teacher at Gladstone Park, Sherrick Green Road, Dollis Hill, from Generating Genius, said: “The RAF qualities of routine, resilience and recognition are right in line with the way we want our students to develop. It can only add value to these boys’ future development.”