Women in Aviation International (India chapter) and Lockheed Martin India advance STEM education in India

The initiative aims to support ongoing mentoring and remote engagement for middle and high school students to promote careers in aerospace and aviation

Issue: 5-6 / 2020By SP’s Correspondent
(CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT) CAREERS IN AVIATION: ADDRESSING THE AUDIENCE OF INTERESTED STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS WERE RADHA BHATIA, PRESIDENT, WAI (INDIA CHAPTER), WILLIAM L. BLAIR, VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LOCKHEED MARTIN INDIA, DR. SARAH HIZA, VICE PRESIDENT, FLEET BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAMS, LOCKHEED MARTIN SPACE AND CAPT. SHWETA SINGH, DEPUTY CHIEF FLIGHT OPERTIONS INSPECTOR, DGCA

With the vision to encourage young children to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and explore career opportunities in related industries, Women in Aviation International (WAI), India Chapter and Lockheed Martin India held a virtual event to advance STEM education in middle and high school students.

The virtual event is part of Lockheed Martin’s commitment to provide ongoing support and engagement aimed at developing the talent of tomorrow. This initiative aligns with the ‘Skill India’ initiative of the Government. WAI India Chapter is a registered NGO that works to create awareness about opportunities in the aviation and aerospace sectors.

As part of the programme, students from Delhi and NCR based schools were invited as attendees. The event began with Noopurr R. Chablani, Secretary, WAI, India Chapter welcoming all participants and talking about the agenda of the event. This was followed by insights from Capt. Shweta Singh, Deputy Chief Flight Operations Inspector, DGCA. The children also got an opportunity to hear Radha Bhatia, President, WAI (India Chapter) and William L. Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India along with Dr Sarah Hiza, Vice President, Fleet Ballistic Missile Programs, Lockheed Martin Space.

The speakers enlightened the students about the aviation and aerospace industries and their functioning, and created awareness about the various career opportunities in these sectors including R&D, design engineering, remote sensing, air traffic control, satellite communications, robotic space exploration, among others. Attending students were given an opportunity to hear industry experts speak on the ‘Future of STEM in India’. The session provided an opportunity to engage with Lockheed Martin executives and other industry experts who stressed upon the importance of STEM and how these subjects can lead to fulfilling careers in aerospace and aviation.

Speaking on the occasion, Radha Bhatia, President, WAI, India Chapter shared, “This is the fifth year that the WAI India Chapter is working towards building awareness about STEM and its necessity for taking up various careers in aviation. This day is celebrated in order to encourage young boys & girls to choose aviation as a viable career opportunity. The aviation industry has always had a lot to offer in terms of opportunities and jobs. Usually when people think of a career in aviation, the focus is on a few roles like pilots and cabin crew. With this celebration our aim is to see young children from Delhi explore other, equally exciting career options available to them as engineers, air traffic controllers and dozens of other jobs within the aviation industry.”

“We will continue our endeavour to introduce the children to role models and educate them in a fun and supportive atmosphere.” added Radha Bhatia.

“Since aviation in India will continue to grow at a phenomenal rate once the slight bump posed by the current travel restrictions is overcome, we hope that our efforts will help the industry find the right talent to fuel this growth, while also helping children in choosing an exciting and challenging career in the domain of their liking within the industry.”

Speaking about Lockheed Martin’s commitment to this initiative, William L. Blair, Vice President and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India said, “As a global security and aerospace company, we believe in building technologies for tomorrow. For more than three decades we have been a trusted partner to India and take it as our responsibility to train and develop the next generation of future engineers, explorers and scientists in India on the solid foundation of STEM education.”

Since 2016, Lockheed Martin has partnered with WAI India chapter to create awareness and build confidence in young students to expand their horizons and inspire future generations of scientists, technologists and innovators in India.