Where I went to high school was about 30 minutes from O'Hare International in Chicago. Several of my buddies' dads were pilots for United Airlines. In fact, one of those buddies, Randy, wore a pilot's watch that was big enough to accidentally give his date, Linda, a black eye during the climactic scene in "Jaws". But that's a story for another day.

My point it, I don't believe anybody else I went to high school with got any up close and personal experience with an airplane, except as a passenger. That's why what the Air Zoo in Portage is doing is so very cool for high school-age kids and even younger ones.

The Air Zoo and STEM are embarking on a sweet new program on Saturday, May 15th. The flights put the students into the cockpit of a small aircraft to highlight STEM (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts and at the same time, it introduces these kids to aviation-focused careers.

(STEM Flights via YouTube)

Now, this doesn't happen without the generosity of the volunteer Pilot Mentors, because this program is free for the students. All this starts Saturday, with a group of five area students beginning the first scheduled STEM Flight program at the Air Zoo’s Flight Discovery Center.

“When we can inspire students with the wonders of flight, we can show them that anything is possible. Including an aviation or STEM career” - Troy Thrash, Air Zoo CEO

Here's the link to STEM Flights.

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