Raleigh-The N.C. Department of Transportation, together with Lenoir Community College, hopes to broaden the horizons of Lenoir County's seventh graders through an aviation career exploration program at the Global TransPark (GTP) in Kinston.
The three-day event will take place January 24, 28 and 29 and is designed to provide real-world experience to almost 600 seventh graders.
Students will meet with experts in the aviation and aeronautics field, as well as try their hand at piloting an airplane in one of the simulators at the community college. The program will also utilize resources at GTP's Spirit AeroSystems Composite Center of Excellence.
The event will include remarks from Transportation Secretary Tony Tata on Wednesday, January 29 at 9 a.m. at the GTP.
"Developing tomorrow's engineers and promoting investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is an important part of NCDOT's mission," said Tata. "Partnerships like this allow us to use the unique opportunities available at the Global TransPark to provide students with valuable hands-on experience that will help build future interest in the aviation and aeronautics field."
The aviation career days are funded through the NC Gear Up program, which provides federal dollars to increase the number of low-income students who enter and succeed in post-secondary education. The majority of Lenoir County's middle school students come from low-income families.
"We hope this three-day event results in our students becoming aware of careers in aviation and they realize there are careers right here in Lenoir County they can come back to after completing a two- or four- year degree," said NC Gear Up Coordinator Jeannine Haigler.
For more information about the event and the NC Gear Up program, visit http://www.northcarolina.edu/gearup.
Office of Education Initiatives