During the month of June 2013, Metro Tech’s Aviation Careers Campus hosted a summer camp for 25 middle school students called ACE or Aviation Careers Education. Metro Tech and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) coordinate the two-week classes each year for teens to explore careers in space and aviation. This was the eighth year that Metro Tech has partnered with the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. Funding for the camp is provided by a grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.
The ACE classes give 7th & 8th grade students hands-on activities such as building rockets, punching rivets into airplane sheet metal, taxiing an airplane, boarding airplanes and seeing up close how airplane engines work.
Speakers were from News Channel 9, the Oklahoma City Police Department, the FAA, the Air Force and Thomas Stafford Museum. They shared their experiences of working in the field of space and aviation.
The ACE class went on field trips to Will Rogers Airport and toured behind the scenes including the airport’s rescue trucks, baggage claim and air traffic control tower. The kids also toured the Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base and the Oklahoma Science Museum’s Aviation display.
Metro Tech’s Aviation Career Campus Director Pete Lee said, “The students seem to really enjoy themselves, especially when they had an opportunity to taxi our aircraft. The camp is a chance for kids to think about their future and to find a career they will enjoy.”
Participating students came from middle schools in Oklahoma City, Mustang, Bethany, Western Heights, Moore, Norman and even Dallas, Texas. Nine school counselors/staff and eleven FAA employees volunteered their time for the two-week session.
Metro Tech’s Student of the Year of 2012, Nolan Payne, discovered his passion for aviation when he attended the ACE camp several years ago as a teen. He was glad to have the opportunity to attend the summer camp to find his future career. In June 2013, he completed his training as an Aviation Maintenance Technician, and plans to continue his education by studying engineering at the University of Oklahoma.
For more information on the summer aviation camp contact Kathy Barnes at the FAA (405) 954-3527 or email Kathy.Barnes@faa.gov.