Aeronautics camp teaching students through hands-on experience

At NKU’s aeronautics camp, instructors teach students how to fly planes, read instruments, and more, all from the comfort of the classroom.

The program is very hands-on, with more focus on applications on information rather than just the information itself. Students in the workshop spend time learning how to calculate groundspeed, direction, yaw, and a multitude of other things.

“It lets the students understand how the classroom teachings relate to real life. They can see how the math, the history, the physics all relates to some type of usefulness in society,” Tom Edwards, a professor at NKU and an instructor for the camp, said.

At the camp, they’re not learning the material just to learn the material. They are learning how to use the material in everyday life, and how subjects like science and math can have real-world applications. The camp shows students how these subjects can benefit society.

“We cannot be a stable or static society, we have to move forward,” Edwards said.

After the students learn the basics, they head upstairs to try their hands at a flight simulator, while instructor Jim Daniels gives them directions and monitors their progress.

“In the flight simulator, there’s different things you can choose from, you can choose your plane, and what weather you want,” Vincent Proctor, student, said.  ”I really haven’t done much with it yet.”

Proctor is attending in order to learn more about all of the aeronautical terms he’s heard, and because he is interested in planes.

“I really didn’t know much about aeronautics coming in… I actually thought I knew a little bit but I know now that I didn’t know very much. I also really wanted to know how to fly a plane without actually flying a plane because I really don’t like heights except for, strangely, in planes,” Proctor said. “That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to find out more about planes, because I don’t really feel uncomfortable in them, and that kind of made me interested in them.”

Overall, the camp tries to spark interest in the STEM fields, and to better acquaint students with possible careers in STEM fields.