Students who have soared in the areas of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and teamwork and leadership were presented awards by members of the Australian Defence Force last Thursday.
Flight Lieutenants (FL) Mark Turner and Jack Timperon, who are both Test Pilots with the ADF Aircraft Research Development Unit flew in to the Whyalla Airport to present the awards to students from Edward John Eyre, Whyalla High and Stuart high Schools.
Two students from each school (six in total) received either the 2020 Future Innovators Award or the 2020 Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award.
The Future Innovators Award focused on the students achievements in the field of STEM, while the Long Tan Award was presented to students who had emerged as leaders in the classroom.
FL Jack Timperon said STEM had played a key part in his journey to becoming a Test Pilot, having studied a Bachelor of Science at university.
"I have a huge passion for STEM, that degree certainly helped me with my piloting skills," he said.
"As a pilot you're always trying to solve a dozen problems at any one time, whether it's a speed-distance time calculation or a fuel savings calculation, my degree at university has definitely helped me with that."
Mr Timperon said the award-winning students had shown "outstanding innovation and motivation throughout their schooling, and this had been recognised by their parents and teachers".
"They've been in school for the majority of their life...for them to still show motivation and innovation this late in the game is a huge testament to them, their teachers and their parents," he said.
EJEHS Year 12 student Callum Irwin, who received the Future innovators Award, said he was 'pretty excited' to find out he had won the award right after finishing one of his exams.
"It's great to get a reward for a year which has been pretty long with COVID and doing distanced education," he said.
"I'm a big fan of maths and science, I enjoy chemistry and physics so I'm a big STEM person."
Meanwhile Stuart High School Year 10 student Chanelle Smith received the Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award.
"It's a pretty good award to win, it's a good achievement that will look nice on my resume," she said.
"Getting to come to the airport and see the aircraft fly over was really cool."