by: Angie Slingluff

The Northwest Alaska Career & Technical Education Center (NACTEC) in Nome, Alaska held a two week aviation intensive program for youth from the Alaska villages of Aniak, Gambel, Koyuk, Brevig Mission and Shaktoolik. These villages are only accessible by air. Aviation is Alaska's lifeline for food, medical care, supplies, education and almost anything you can think of. Watch this brief video to learn more.

Every other year NACTEC offers a two week aviation intensive for youth from the surrounding villages on the physics of flight, airport operations, and aviation maintenance. Though they have been flying in small airplanes all their lives, this is their first hands on, "let me see and touch the controls and look at the engine" experience. This experience can be the spark that lights their path to an aviation career.

The FAA STEM AVSED program has been supporting and encouraging this program for several years. Shrinking budgets have kept me from journeying to Nome to participate directly, but through the miracles of technology I can connect via video teleconferencing to encourage these outstanding youth who are the face of the future of aviation in the flyingest part of the flyingest state, Alaska.

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Far flung village youth gather in Nome, AK for aviation intensive.

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Cessna Caravan, a typical taxi of the western Alaska, is inspected by NACTEC students. (photo credit: Jake Fischer, NACTEC)