WMU News

Camp participants have their heads in the clouds

June 22, 2005

BATTLE CREEK, Mich.--Seventy high school students from around the country are spreading their wings at Western Michigan University this summer.

The students are participating in the Summer Flight Academy, which features a senior residential camp that began Sunday, June 19, and will run through Friday, June 24, and a junior day camp that begins Monday, June 27, and runs through Thursday, June 30.

WMU's College of Aviation began serving as host for the free camps more than a decade ago to encourage teens from a variety of backgrounds to consider careers in the aviation industry. A major focus is to increase awareness of aviation careers among groups of people who are not currently well represented in the industry, such as women and minorities.

Both of the 2005 camps are being co-sponsored by WMU's King/Chavez/Parks College Day Program and being offered in conjunction with the Organization of Black Airline Pilots.

In addition, they both take advantage of the University's state-of-the-art aviation education facilities at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek and include some activities at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Kalamazoo.

Summer Flight Academy participants, who had to apply to attend, have a chance to fly actual aircraft. They also tour companies involved in the aviation industry; hear about career options from a variety of speakers; and take aviation classes covering such topics as aeronautical engineering, aviation maintenance technology and airport administration.

Graduation ceremonies will be held in Battle Creek for the senior group on June 24 and for the junior group on June 30.

Fifty students from around the nation are attending the senior camp. During this session, which is primarily for 11th and 12th graders, participants live on WMU's main campus in Kalamazoo.

Another 30 students, primarily ninth and 10th graders who live in the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek area, will attend the junior camp. During this session, participants begin and end each day at the W.K. Kellogg Airport.

This is the first year that WMU's King/Chavez,/Parks College Day Program is partnering with the College of Aviation to offer the Summer Flight Academy.

Half of this year's camp participants also are taking part in the Flying for Learning and Inspiration initiative offered by the KCP College Day Program. The initiative, a separate, academic-year program, is designed to educate West Michigan students about aviation careers.

For more information, contact Tony Dennis, College of Aviation student services director, at (269) 964-6375 or <tony.dennis@wmich.edu> or contact Erika Carr, KCP director, at (269) 387-3319 or <erika.carr@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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