The aviation division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation recently awarded $3,000 grants to 10 state airports to assist with hosting aviation and aerospace-themed summer academies for middle and high school students.
[Above photo by the NCDOT]
The rapid growth of the aerospace and unmanned aircraft system sectors offers many job opportunities for North Carolinians in the aerospace field, the agency said in a statement, and its 2023 Aviation Career Education or ACE academy grant program aims to inspire and expose the next generation of talent to those careers.
[Editor’s note: In a related effort, the NCDOT’s aviation division announced the winners of the 2023 North Carolina Aviation Art Contest in February. That annual art contest, which received 1,490 entries this year, seeks to inspire and engage young people in aviation.]
NCDOT said aviation academy topics include aviation history, career discovery and planning, and unmanned aircraft systems – also known as UAS or drones. That includes funding various activities, such as hands-on drone and airplane flight simulations and trips to aerospace fields.
Academies prioritize exploring high-demand aviation and aerospace careers, such as manned and unmanned aircraft pilots, aircraft technicians, electronics, including coding and programming, avionics, air traffic controllers and engineers, NCDOT said.
They also explore how students can gain education and credentials through North Carolina’s community college and university programs to pursue those professions, the agency added.