PRESS RELEASE – The Air Zoo Aerospace and Science Center has partnered with a fellow nonprofit to deliver free educational flight experiences for middle and high school students in the greater Kalamazoo area. The flights are administered by STEM Flights’ volunteer Pilot Mentors and are designed to ignite and inspire interest in aviation and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers, which coupled with art (STEAM) is an ongoing initiative of the Air Zoo.
The flights utilize the cockpit of a small aircraft to highlight STEM concepts and learning while introducing youth to aviation focused careers. Because of the generosity of the volunteer Pilot Mentors and the free meeting space provided by the Air Zoo, there is no cost to the students for this incredible flight experience. A group of five area students have been selected to receive the first scheduled STEM Flight program on Saturday, May 15th at the Air Zoo’s Flight Discovery Center.
Troy Thrash, President & CEO of Air Zoo, feels that aviation is an excellent pathway to STEM careers. “When we can inspire students with the wonders of flight, we can show them that anything is possible. Including an aviation or STEM career” Thrash noted. STEM Flights currently has Pilot Mentors throughout the state of Michigan, and the May 15th mini event is the kickoff for a permanent program in the area. Participating students learn STEM curriculum online and are provided follow-up resources for pursuing careers in STEM and aviation after the completion of their flight. Local students and Pilots are encouraged to sign up online at www.stemflights.org to participate in future flight experiences.
About STEM Flights
STEM Flights is a non-profit organization that provides customized aviation education and flight experiences to facilitate learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Their mission is to create positive experiences in general aviation, and inspire America’s youth to pursue STEM careers. Learn more at www.stemflights.org.
About the Air Zoo
Located at 6151 Portage Rd., Portage, MI 49002, the Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science experience with over 100 rare air & space craft, inspiring interactive exhibits, indoor amusement park rides, full-motion flight simulators, hands-on science-based education programs, and more. The Air Zoo is a not-for-profit organization and is open 360+ days per year. For hours, tickets, safety policies and procedures as well as temporarily altered experiences due to COVID-19, visit airzoo.org/plan-your-visit.