Camp instructors, teaching assistants and students work together to learn to fly

Professors and student assistants noticed a curiosity for aeronautics in their students at the NKU Aeronautics Camp on June 18 much like the curiosity they had themselves.

Tom Edwards, an Organizational Leadership professor at NKU, said that he began his journey with aeronautics as a child who wanted to fly, but he later found that the leadership involved in flying was what he loved.

“It’s a great responsibility, we have to be innovative,” Edwards said. “We have to be a leader to fly the aircraft.”

When working with students in grades six through ten at the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics, Edwards sees a lot of the same interests he had when he became interested in flight and aeronautics.

“I see the natural tendency of students to explore and go beyond. [Students say] what can we do tomorrow…can we innovate things?” Edwards said.

Aeronautics Camp coordinator Bill Schneider was also interested in flying and became a pilot, but he said that there was less opportunity when he was young.

“The experience that these students are getting, I didn’t get until I was well into my pilot training,” Schneider said.

Working alongside the professors are students chosen to help mentor the younger ones, such as Ian Reinhardt, who wants to be a fighter pilot in the either the Marines or the Air Force and said the he has been interested in it since he was a kid.

The camp allows or young students, teenagers, and adults to work together to learn and relearn aeronautics information.

“[When teaching], you have to know every detail and focus,” Reinhardt said. “[Doing anything] alone, you’re kind of on auto-pilot.”

Mentoring students see themselves in the curiosity and motivation, as well as reaffirming knowledge they have learned before. NKU has provided an opportunity for both young and older people to work with aeronautics.