From June 17-22, 25 high school students from different parts of the city took part in the San Antonio Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy at the Stinson Municipal Airport. Sponsored by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Inc. (OBAP) and the FAA, this was one of more than 25 summer programs held across the country including Puerto Rico and nearby islands.
This year the San Antonio students were exposed to aviation career professionals by way of guest speakers and field trips along with challenging classroom exercises. They visited facilities that involved aerospace research, military aviation, corporate aviation, airline operation, and aviation-based law enforcement to name a few. Students also manned the MARS mission presented at the Scobee Planetarium's Challenger Learning Center.
As the academy's focus is on the many and varied careers in aviation, students were also hosted by the San Antonio Airport director for an understanding of what it takes to operate an airport. On another visit, the FAA conducted tours of the control tower and radar facilities.
Upon graduation, students were given orientation flights with certified flight instructors while family and friends watched along with the "required" pizzas. Parents expressed gratitude for the week's offerings and they were certain the students were inspired to learn more about potential careers in aviation and aerospace.