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True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris

True To Your Crew:
GAREF PARIS

Ask most teens what they’re doing at 3 pm on a Saturday, and you’ll probably hear something along the lines of: sports, friends, and phones. Ask Nolan Ronjon and Yoram Frank and you’ll hear something quite different: aeronautical engineering.

That’s because Nolan, 17, and Yoram, 16, are both members of GAREF PARIS, an academic club located in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, France that’s devoted to aeronautical science. GAREF was started in the 60s with the mission to unite kids ages 8 and up through the hands-on application of science.

“We meet every Saturday, and not everyone necessarily knows a lot about space,” says Nolan. “We all learn together. Some want to do programming; others prefer practical work. We all manage to fit in. That is what motivates us in our projects.”

True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris

True To Your Crew:
GAREF PARIS


Ask most teens what they’re doing at 3 pm on a Saturday, and you’ll probably hear something along the lines of: sports, friends, and phones. Ask Nolan Ronjon and Yoram Frank and you’ll hear something quite different: aeronautical engineering.

That’s because Nolan, 17, and Yoram, 16, are both members of GAREF PARIS, an academic club located in the 13th arrondissement in Paris, France that’s devoted to aeronautical science. GAREF was started in the 60s with the mission to unite kids ages 8 and up through the hands-on application of science.

“We meet every Saturday, and not everyone necessarily knows a lot about space,” says Nolan. “We all learn together. Some want to do programming; others prefer practical work. We all manage to fit in. That is what motivates us in our projects.”

True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris

GAREF is split into two cohorts: one under age 15 and one over. This year, the 15-plus group is planning on launching the Horus 11, a weather balloon outfitted with cameras they hope will capture 360-degree video, and its 30-kilometer ascent will stream live on the internet. For more than 55 years, GAREF has been receiving massive support from Ville de Paris and CNES, the government-funded space agency of France, which safely organizes the launch of aeronautical endeavors and finances wide-scale student projects.

François Felisiak, 25, works a day job at CNES and also spends weekend time at GAREF AEROSPATIAL. He says the appeal lies in the fact that the work is tangible—it’s not about pushing papers and going to meetings.

“At the space agency, we work way more on documents; it's more about working with ideas,” he says. “Here, we can go very quickly from an idea to the building process.”

—François

GAREF is split into two cohorts: one under age 15 and one over. This year, the 15-plus group is planning on launching the Horus 11, a weather balloon outfitted with cameras they hope will capture 360-degree video, and its 30-kilometer ascent will stream live on the internet. For more than 55 years, GAREF has been receiving massive support from Ville de Paris and CNES, the government-funded space agency of France, which safely organizes the launch of aeronautical endeavors and finances wide-scale student projects.

François Felisiak, 25, works a day job at CNES and also spends weekend time at GAREF AEROSPATIAL. He says the appeal lies in the fact that the work is tangible—it’s not about pushing papers and going to meetings.

“At the space agency, we work way more on documents; it's more about working with ideas,” he says. “Here, we can go very quickly from an idea to the building process.”

—François

True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris
True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris

Alexandre Pelletier, 23, (new graduate of National engineering school, ENSEA) is a telemetry specialist for GAREF launching.

For the younger students, Matthis Monteil, 20-year-old engineering student at the University of Paris who also manages the public communication for GAREF, says it’s the teamwork, full-stop.

“During the holiday camp, it is very interesting to see the things they achieve together,” says Matthis. “They share their knowledge. At the end of the camp, no one says, ‘I really don't know what those two days were about.’ Some of them discover a passion. Kids finish and are really happy to have discovered things and made new friends.”

The members of GAREF are super careful not to make the club sound elitist or exclusionary, given how challenging the work can seem. At its most basic level, says François, it’s all about wanting to do something every kid loves to do—to tinker. “It starts with wanting to build something with your hands,” he says.

Alexandre Pelletier, 23, (new graduate of National engineering school, ENSEA) is a telemetry specialist for GAREF launching.

For the younger students, Matthis Monteil, 20-year-old engineering student at the University of Paris who also manages the public communication for GAREF, says it’s the teamwork, full-stop.

“During the holiday camp, it is very interesting to see the things they achieve together,” says Matthis. “They share their knowledge. At the end of the camp, no one says, ‘I really don't know what those two days were about.’ Some of them discover a passion. Kids finish and are really happy to have discovered things and made new friends.”

The members of GAREF are super careful not to make the club sound elitist or exclusionary, given how challenging the work can seem. At its most basic level, says François, it’s all about wanting to do something every kid loves to do—to tinker. “It starts with wanting to build something with your hands,” he says.

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“It starts with wanting to build something with your hands.”

True to Your Crew: GAREF Paris