The areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are picking up steam all across America, and to help encourage more students to focus on careers within and beyond the Aviation industry, the Houston chapter of the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) recently conducted their Houston Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy which took place from July 12 to July 16 at the Houston InterContinental Airport (IAH).
Fourteen (14) high school-aged students learned about the theory of flight, took various tours including the IAH Air Traffic Control Tower, Bush Airport Houston Fire Department, United Airlines Maintenance Facility, Airport Operations and the Pilot Training Center.
The participants heard from over 50 speakers about their careers within and beyond the Aviation industry, such as Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers and even Federal Agents. But the highlight of the entire week was when the students actually piloted a plane during their EAA Young Eagles Flight from General Aviation Services on Saturday, July 16, at Lone Star Airport in Conroe, Texas. Many couldn’t contain their excitement after their flight.
Sponsors, donors and supporters of the Houston OBAP ACE Academy included the U.S. Navy; Marine Corp & Coast Guard; Houston Airport System; St. Francis Capital; Bailey Military Institute; NBCFAE; Airline Crew-Taxes; Texas Southern University; On-Site Partners LLC; Wells Fargo; Marriott Hotels; Houston Black Book; DLC Enterprises; Airline Crew Taxes; Chic Fil-A; City-Builders Inc.; and United Airlines.
The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academies are co-sponsored with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other select aviation organizations or educational institutions.
The academies include many interesting and educational activities and field trips. During an OBAP ACE academy, students can expect to participate in activities that feature STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) components. They also include trips to aviation related facilities and receive tours of areas the general public normally never see. Select academies also offer students the opportunity to perform an actual flight in a general aviation aircraft! Traditionally, these flights are easily the highlights of a student’s experience.
For more information on the ACE Academy, please visit www.obap.org/ace-academy.