Milton High’s Aerospace Technology program starts third year

Published on September 07, 2012 with No Comments

By Scott Erickson, Milton High School Aerospace Technology instructor

What does it mean to be part of the Milton High School Aerospace Technology program? That is a question we are trying to hold off on answering. The program is just now starting its third year and every day we are stepping into territory we have never been before. Every day, we set the bar higher for achievement and expectations for, by and of the current aviation students.

The 2011-2012 school year was one of individual achievement and group efforts that pioneered the way we are teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics out of room 137 at Milton. Thirty-six students helped Beta Test the UWF Aerospace classroom by flying virtual races with students in Orlando. Two graduating seniors passed their Private Pilot Knowledge Tests, to earn what is considered by the state of Florida as an industry certification related to Aerospace Technology. One student was awarded the Santa Rosa County Career Academy Student of the Year. Twenty-four students were the proud representatives of Milton High School, their families, classmates, friends and community at the National Flight Academy Commissioning Ceremony with distinguished guests including Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon, Mark Kelly, captain of the final space shuttle Endeavor mission and the late astronaut for all mankind, Neil Armstrong.

Room 137 activities last year included building hovercraft out of recycled wood, learning to fly maneuvers and procedures in Cessna 172s at Pensacola International Airport via simulation, and some more virtual air races with and against students from Escambia High School via the internet. A handful of students also worked on a noise abatement research project in which they found that noise levels at Peter Prince Airfield in East Milton are well within Federal Aviation Administration approved levels.

This year, we are starting out with some very exciting events! Within the first month or two of the first quarter, we should have two of our students fly solo flights for the first time, representing our program and the relationship and support we have with AMS Inc. and Peter Prince Airfield. These two gentlemen are all of 16 years of age and have only been licensed drivers for a month or two if not just weeks. These flights will once again raise the bar of what our Milton Panther Aviators can accomplish! I hope to never be able to answer the question, “What will a student in your program get from being involved in it?” Don’t let me put a finish line in place, it will only limit potential!

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