Aeronautical Center & Metro Tech Celebrate 15 Years of STEM
Vol.8 Issue 5
ACE Camp students pose for a photo in the USAF C-130 Trainer
Ace Campers start their week with the inflation of a hot air balloon

The Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) and the Metro Technology Center Aviation Career Campus (ACC) celebrated 15 years of partnership this year. Together, they hosted two separate weeks of providing an Aviation Career Education (ACE) Camp for middle schoolers from across the state of Oklahoma. As a result, 52 students gained exposure to hundreds of aviation careers ranging from pilots to human factors researchers at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). By the end of the week, every student learned about 100 different possible careers in aviation. The "take off," if you will, for these keen young minds, was witnessing a hot air balloon demonstration early Monday morning. The campers were able to be relatively hands-on with the hot air balloon, and learned how it all worked. Following the demonstration, students learned about Bernoulli’s Principle and observed a presentation regarding how weather affects aviation on a daily basis. The second half of the day was spent learning about the many parts of an airplane with representatives from the Civil Air Patrol. They also showed the students how drones are being used in the aviation/ aerospace industry.

Students learn the parts of an airplane
ACE Camp students learn to connect the dots at the Transportation Safety Institute’s aviation boneyard

On day two, ACE Camp students visited the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC). The MMAC tour began with a trip to the Transportation Safety Institute’s (TSI) aviation "boneyard," where students learned about the causes of aviation accidents and how investigations are conducted. Following the excitement at the boneyard was a tour of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI). Campers learned all of the ins and outs of aeronautical research, and even got to test out some inflatable life vests!

What better way to learn about safety than inflating a life vest?!
Students gather around a flight simulator at the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute
One of the favorite experiences in camp is flying the AFS flight simulator

The next stop on the agenda was the FAA’s Flight Research and Analysis Group, where students were able to experience the Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 flight simulators.

The tour of the Will Rogers World Airport (WRWA) occurred on day three of camp, where students were taught about airport security, secrets about artwork within the airport, where luggage goes, and much more. Campers also got a tour of WRWA Crash and Fire Rescue, and were given a recap of what goes on when working for the Fire Department. Later, the students toured the Metro Technology Center, experienced a taxi ride in an aircraft, and learned the basics of riveting.

To end the day, there were interactive presentations on financial planning demonstrated by the True Sky Credit Union, and professional life skills were shared by Darron Lamkin of Class Matters, Inc.

Students enjoy the spray of cold water as firefighters demonstrate their rescue operations
Aviators from Customs and Border Protection take time for a helicopter fly-in with the students
Students understand velocity in the iFLY wind tunnel

To conclude this remarkable week, the United States Army, local Air-Evac and Customs and Border Protection helicopters made a landing at Metro Tech. The students were allowed to climb into the helicopters and ask the pilots and crew questions. Following this activity, campers traveled to Oklahoma’s Air National Guard base to see the various types of aircraft used in their missions. The 2022 ACE Campers were recognized at a special graduation ceremony held on the last day of camp. This ceremony was held at iFly, an Indoor Skydiving Center. The campers’ week concluded after taking part in a STEM lab activity, a safety briefing, and a demonstration from iFly professionals.

Federal Aviation Aministration (FAA) seal