Middle school students take flight!

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Around 75 sixth-grade students from Allendale Fairfax Middle School and Colleton County Middle School participated in USC Salkehatchie’s Take Flight! Aviation Camp. The camp is offered as part of USC Salkehatchie’s STEM program in partnership with Boeing South Carolina, the Hiram E. Mann Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen and Joint Base Charleston.

“USC Salkehatchie is thrilled to host our annual aviation camp,” said Jackson Alexander, director of the USC Salkehatchie Leadership Institute. “As a regional catalyst for education and learning, the university looks forward to providing opportunities that impact young people throughout the region. It’s exciting for students to explore and engage in aviation and the related opportunities in our area by participating in authentic, hands-on learning activities. We’re appreciative of our partners for sharing their knowledge.”

The camp focused on the opportunities and career paths in the region’s aviation industry, the rich heritage of the Tuskegee Airmen who trained at an airfield in Walterboro during World War II and the development of skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year, students took part in experiential learning activities including building and launching bottle rockets, coding sensors and navigating drones. Field trips to the Lowcountry Regional Airport, Joint Base Charleston and Boeing South Carolina were also included. Educational presentations on the significant contributions of the pilots who were the first African American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces were also featured.

The camp has been offered annually since 2014 for middle school students in Allendale and Colleton counties and provides opportunities to learn about STEM, aviation, and the importance of our military installations.

“We hope this camp sparks students’ interests not only in aviation but also in all STEM careers,” Alexander said.

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