Students from Highfields School, Wolverhampton, became the first set of students to carry out a school project on the recently salvaged Dornier Do 17, a World War Two German bomber, raised from the bottom of the English Channel, which is now being conserved at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.
A team of fifteen students from the school who are studying for their A-Level Extended Project Qualification which develops their critical, reflective, problem-solving and independent learning skills through the planning, research and evaluation of a self-selected project, have taken part in this exciting and innovative assignment that will also benefit other schools in the region. Each student took on the role of Project Manager for the raising and the conservation of the Dornier Do17 by working with the RAF Museum’s Conservation Centre Manager Darren Priday and the team of Technicians and Apprentices who raised the Dornier 17 in June.
Students were split into teams that were required to investigate all aspects of the project including how to raise the aircraft from the water using specialist equipment; how to work with partner organisations; how to cost out and budget for the project; how to effect the logistics of getting the aircraft from Kent to Cosford through the planning of transportation and the hiring of vehicles; management of staff; plus any other difficulties encountered.
Julie Brierley, Learning Assistant at the RAF Museum Cosford said: “The students researched the project by speaking to Darren Priday who led the recovery of the Dornier, together with various organisations and other resources that helped in the recovery. Allied to this they worked independently to gain a valuable insight into how this project was managed.”
This investigation has been an exciting introduction to their A-Level course and after several weeks of researching and planning their proposals, students gave presentations on their findings to a panel of Museum staff. For other schools wishing to be involved in the Dornier Do17 project, lesson resources including lesson plans and student research can be accessed via the RAF Museum’s Access and Learning department.
Heidi Dobbs, RSC Regional Coordinator: Midlands said: “The students have produced outstanding work that highlights the integral link between the history of the Dornier and the chemistry of the conservation. We hope to make some of these resources available to others through our learning chemistry website rsc.org/learn-chemistry.”
Mrs Hall, Head of Humanities at Highfields School said: “This has really opened the eyes of the students to the realities of project management as part of their preparation for the development and realisation of their own project. I hope other schools will find it beneficial when they carry out their research, and cannot speak too highly of the collaboration we have had with The RAF Museum Cosford. This has been a most unique journey that my students have undertaken. They have investigated chemistry, engineering, costing’s, management, but moreover the ethics and risks involved in undertaking the rescue and conservation of such an important artefact which now resides at the RAF Museum Cosford.”
For more information on the Museum visit www.rafmuseum.org or for details of the Museum’s education programme for schools, please call the Access and Learning Department on 01902 376200. The Museum and the Wargaming.net Dornier Interpretation Zone, where the Dornier Do17 may be viewed by the public, is open daily from 10am. Admission is free of charge.