The Bullock County S.T.E.M. Summer Academy participants visited the local Franklin Field Airport Authority on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

Union Springs, AL. — The Bullock County S.T.E.M. Summer Academy participants visited the local Franklin Field Airport Authority on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

They spent nearly three hours at the airport to gain a better understanding of the role the local airport and aviation plays in the community, as well as the wide range of careers related to aeronautics.

Pilot Eric Box, owner of Box Aviation, shared his personal experiences within his field of study and how aviation can strengthen one’s education in any S.T.E.M. career.

Students were able to see the inner workings of the plane and ask questions about the operation and various aircraft components.

As the students toured the facility, they witnessed an emergency helicopter landing by the State of Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).

ALEA Special Agent David Williams shared how the State Trooper Aviation Unit provides rapid responses to include searches for missing people, manhunts for felony fugitives, marijuana eradication, surveillance flights and aerial photography of crime scenes to include traffic fatalities.

Students were able to get an up-close and personal view of the different dynamics of helicopter flight.

Volunteer Thomas Main, who helped to coordinate the event, understands the benefits of aviation and other S.T.E.M careers in regards to employment for future generations and a strong economic growth in Bullock County. “If the event possibly inspires just one or two students to be led into a successful career, it will be a huge success,” stated Main.

The Bullock County S.T.E.M. Summer Academy seeks to provide youth experiences that will show them what is possible for their lives.

To help make this field trip a success, the Auburn University Office of Special Projects and Initiatives would like to thank the following: Bullock County Board of Education, Bullock County Development Board (Dr. Julian Cope and Meagan Faulk), Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Box Aviation of Montgomery, Franklin Field Airport Authority Members (Melma Gillis, Suzanne Johnson and Von Memory), and community volunteers Thomas and Julia Main.

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