Air expo offers a sky’s limits of careers

Ray Van Dusen | Buy at photos.monroecountyjournal.com

Posted on April 25, 2015 by Daily Journal in Education, News
By Ray Van Dusen | Monroe Journal

ABERDEEN – While a soggy April 17 postponed the Aberdeen High School JROTC’s first-ever air expo, rain chances for the make-up date April 24 forced a move from the Monroe County Airport to Shivers Middle School.

Even though the scaled-down event didn’t accommodate for the planned Cessna displays or demonstrations by the Mississippi State University rocket team, the ceiling of the Fluker-Reed Auditorium couldn’t contain a newfound interest in flight younger students went away with that day.

“With the eighth-graders, they seemed surprised with what aerospace offers. They saw that you can be on the medical squad or air traffic control and that you don’t just have to be a fighter pilot,” said JRTOC Public Affairs Officer Malaysia King.

Shivers Middle School eighth-graders were divided into three sections for one-hour blocks to visits stations manned by the likes of the Columbus Air Force Base personnel and MSU rocket team members.

“You have a fresh new start when you come to high school as freshmen. We’re talking about careers outside of just flying, and you can build a network here and it’s an incentive to learn more about math and science,” said JROTC instructor Jeff Coggin.

The air expo was cadet-led in that students pulled strings to bring the participants and organized the event. Each cadet participated in some form.

“I’m really proud of each of them,” said JROTC Cadet Commander Jose Gonzales. “We’ve inspired students, and the cadets have done it all. So many have said they’d never thought about being a pilot before, and they’re looking at the science program now. The planning was a lot of work, but it’s real-world experience for the future, and it’s a great event for everyone.”

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