The Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) held its second annual middle school Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy recently. Out of 130 applicants, 24 youth from 13 villages were chosen to attend this 4 day ACE academy.

Given the importance of aviation to rural Alaska, the LKSD has made a commitment to developing and offering aviation programs to its students. In the Spring semester, they will offer a residential semester long class to high school juniors and seniors. They will hold two middle School ACE academies each year, one in Fall and one in the Spring.

Students visited several local aviation businesses including the Yuut Yaqungviat Flight School, the AMP Maintenance facility who graciously allowed the academy to use their hangar for some indoor flying activities, Northern Air Cargo, Yute Aviation, Life Med the NOAA Weather Balloon facility, Fish & Wildlife Services hangar, the ATC Contract tower and the National Guard Readiness armory. Evening meals were prepared and served by the Bethel High School JROTC cadets.


ACE Director Julie McWilliams and students check out the cockpit

ACE Director Julie McWilliams and students check out the cockpit


An instructor shows students how the drones work.

An instructor shows students how the drones work.


(Photo credits: Angie Slingluff)