2019 Wairarapa Schools Day

Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival 2019 is offering some exciting things ‘on the ground’ from the 22nd to 24th February.   In line with its goals of educating about aviation and inspiring youth, the decision was made to offer interactive and engaging activities that would attract a younger demographic.  One way to achieve this goal is to reach out to local Wairarapa schools and support the STEM curriculum through a learning experience outside the classroom at Hood Aerodrome – welcome to our inaugural Schools Day!

Entry to the festival is free for schools, and transport is heavily subsidised with the help of Tranzit Coachlines and Earthcare Environmental.  All STEM activities on this day are free for students.

Schools Day opens at 9.30am and finishes at 2pm.  Gates to the festival are open to the public at noon, so until then it will be exclusive access for schools.  Members of the public will be advised and every effort will be made to give priority to students at activity stations, however please be aware that there will be public on site after that time. 

Schools are also welcome to stay later than 2pm if they wish, and will revert to the public programme till gates close around 4.30pm.



This area is for students in years one and two, and is a large outdoor space with shade provided.  Activities are play-based and mostly STEM related.  Volunteer facilitators will assist students, and some activities will be on the stage close by during the day so teachers and parent helpers may take students to and from the stage area when demonstrations are on. 


High quality STEM-based workshops are being provided free of charge on Friday and spaces will be allocated equitably across schools.  We will offer more free spaces after registrations close if there are any available.  Any slots not taken up by the school by the end of December will be offered to another school. The types of workshops will include: Rocketry, Digital Fabrication, Engineering (Schools to Skies), Circuitry and Robotics (to be confirmed).


Across the site there will be numbered stations or stands where different organisations offer STEM based activities; some will offer selected students an opportunity to ‘have a go’ while others watch, and some involve engaging demonstrations.    Classes will be given their customised programme outlining which stations to go to at what times, and every half an hour a bell will ring, signalling a move to the next scheduled station.  Students are unlikely to get to every single activity in the time allocated, but we will match to class levels.  Please note there will be a reasonable amount of walking between activities.


These are activities going on around the aerodrome that cater for large groups of students.  There will be a lot happening on the aerodrome, both in the air and on the ground.  The outdoor stage will have rolling demos, presentations and shows, so groups can sit in front of this and learn in an entertaining way.  Wander and look at the vintage aircraft, classic cars and static displays, watch model aircraft do stunt flying, drone demos, or catch Nanogirl as she weaves her way through the crowd or does a show on stage.  All students will have Self Selected STEM time in their programme, and schools may choose whether they do this as a class or as a 1:6 group.


This marquee offers an opportunity for students to think about aviation career pathways.  From large, tertiary and commercial organisations, to Air Scouts and ATC, or clubs and initiatives that provide short term training camps, come to the marquee and have fun.  Ask questions, listen to experts talking, participate in quick-fire activities and be inspired.  Depending on demand, we may need to prioritise older students to visit this area.

Every student will be programmed through at least four of the above experiences.


A practical, hands-on introduction to the world of designing and producing 3D printed objects.  This session will give you the ability to design 3D objects in TinkerCAD - a free,  browser-based application, and the basic operation of Makerbot 3D printers.  You'll be able to take those skills straight back to the classroom to confidently design objects for printing on almost any 3D printer. 

So that you are freed up on Friday, we are offering limited numbers in professional development sessions on Thursday 21st February.  These sessions will be held at Hood Aerodrome and will last one and a half hours.  These will be invoiced at $40 per teacher.

Please note you need to Pre-Register for these sessions.

As these activities are available for all three days, students may want to return on Saturday or Sunday with their families to visit the stations they didn’t get to on Schools Day.  We will be giving all students a discount code.

Please note there will be a cost for workshops attended on saturday and sunday.


Tranzit Coachlines and Earthcare Environmental have very kindly come to the party and provided some very hefty sponsorship toward the transport costs.  This means that transport is heavily discounted.

Schools will be invoiced in March for their travel, it will definitely be less than $2.50 per student return. Until we know final numbers we can’t confirm final transport pricing.

If you wish to make your own transport arrangements that is fine, and your class may stay on past 2pm, however volunteer support numbers will reduce after 2pm and the formal part of the programme will end.  Tranzit will accept one-way bookings.

Schools should arrive at Hood Aerodrome by 9.45am latest on Friday 22nd February. 

other information


Lunch breaks are staggered, with the younger students breaking first.  Food trucks and children’s amusements will be open so please advise parents in case they wish their children to buy lunch or have some fun in the children’s play area. Please note amusements are not free. Plenty of coffee carts available.


As this is a working aerodrome, we require a 1:6 ratio, and adults must stay with their group from start to finish of the day. 


If your school has a gazebo or marquee, you are welcome to erect this on site for shade or shelter and to have a base with your school’s branding.  A prize will be offered for the best represented school marquee! 


Hood Aerodrome is a large, exposed site, so please keep an eye on weather reports.  We will provide some shade, but if you can bring a marquee that helps if it is looking like a hot day.  We provide water stations, and the Wairarapa Cancer Society Centre will be on site with sunscreen.

The site is very large, so students may be doing a lot of walking. Please advise if there are any potential accessibility issues for students and we will provide as much support as practicable. The site is wheelchair accessible and there are disabled toilets available.

First aid kits will be located across the site, and indicated on your maps as part of your information pack.  Emergency Services will be on site, and a copy of our emergency plan made available to you. 

It is very important that if you bring a marquee or gazebo, that they are tied down, not just pegged.  If it is a windy day these structures can easily fly away and could create serious harm to people.

Restricted areas are well fenced, but students are reminded to not cross any fence at any time.