On Monday, August 5, 2019, 25 students from Montague, Orchard View, and West Michigan Christian schools will begin a four-day adventure at MiCareer Aviation Camp at the Muskegon County Airport. The adventurous middle school students are attending the first-ever hands-on aviation day camp in Muskegon County.
The students will rotate through hands-on learning stations where they will explore the mechanical aspects of airplanes including rivets, propellers, airplane wings, circuitry, and engines. Part of their time will be spent learning about aerodynamics, testing different wing designs, and even studying experimental aircraft. Tours of a Coast Guard helicopter, warbird (vintage military aircraft), airport tower, maintenance building, baggage and fueling stations will also be provided. On Thursday, the final day of camp, students will have the opportunity to take an airplane ride with volunteers from the West Michigan Flying Club (weather permitting).
Organizers say their goal is to give students an overview of the careers available throughout the entire aviation industry. “The industry is in dire need of pilots, mechanics, air traffic controllers, security personnel, those who can refuel planes and manage cargo, and many other personnel,” said Montague Middle School Principal Jim Perreault. “We want students to have fun while they discover the many possibilities,” he added.
The Montague and Orchard View school districts worked together with support from the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District to make the free camp possible. The camp will be led by Montague Middle School Principal Jim Perreault and Orchard View Curriculum Director Simeon Frang. The two said the entire experience was designed, and will be delivered by, a creative and highly experienced committee of current and retired experts including a NASA engineer, aviation engineer, engineering technician with the Airports Division of the Michigan Department of Transportation, Muskegon County Development Director, and the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center and Intermediate School District.
“The scope of this project is huge,” said Frang. “Our ultimate goal is to help our kids realize just how broad this field is, what great skills they already have, and help them connect their dreams to their futures.”