Students Try Their Hand at Aviation in NKU’S Aeronautics Camp


Judith Seaman

Campers build rockets out of two liter bottles which they then launch outside.

Students are learning the fundamentals of flight at NKU’s aeronautics camp. Kids learn math and science skills that could inspire them to go on to become aviators and STEM students.

Instructor Bill Schneider said “we’re always looking for opportunities to show how aeronautics, aviation, space, and rocketry, involves integrating all of the sciences and the mathematics.” Those attending the camp, use flight simulators and make rockets from two liter bottles, water, and compressed air, which are then launched and further improved.

“All of us [running the camp] have been involved with aviation, and space, and aeronautics and it’s just a great way to share our passion.” Schneider said.

He and others have been leading this camp for five years, teaching kids how gravity and other aviation factors affect piloting. Half of the group was in a room using flight simulators to learn how to pilot an airplane because it’s very hands on.

Surbhi Nandikolmath, a 7th grader taking part in the camp, said one of her favorite parts is the flight simulator and said that she “would like to go into science…and aeronautics maybe when I grow older.”

Another camper, seventh grader Austin Motz, said that he is at camp because he would like to work at NASA when he’s older. The other half was building, launching, and improving rockets made from two liter bottles, water and compressed air.

As stated by Bill Schneider, “to be able to share [knowledge] with these guys and teach them some math and science, that’s what we need to do more of. So, we’re already talking about having another meeting, maybe to go a little more in depth.”

Overall, those running this workshop want to be able to not only teach kids math and science skills, but also try to give them the knowledge to apply these skills if they ever had the desire to go into aeronautics.