Prepared for takeoff School district’s aerospace engineering course enhanced by use of new flight simulator
Florence 1 Schools is preparing future airline pilots and engineers through its aerospace engineering course offered at West Florence High School.
Students in the aerospace engineering class are now taking advantage of an added bonus to their classroom experience with the use of a new flight simulator recently provided to enhance hands-on concepts of the actual flight experience.
“We now have a wonderful new STEM tool,” said Bill Ward, who teaches aerospace engineering at West Florence. “The flight simulator is perfect for putting the theoretical and mathematical coursework into project-based application. The students gain an understanding of aerodynamic forces through flying, and the flight simulator brings it all to life and puts the educational process right in the students’ hands.”
According to Project Lead the Way, the aerospace engineering course is designed to ignite students’ learning in the fundamentals of atmospheric and space flight.
“Aerospace engineering is one of the specialization courses in the PLTW engineering program, and it began this semester at West Florence High School,” said Florence 1 Schools STEM Director Chris Rogers. Rogers said the course is one of eight STEM courses offered at West Florence.
In its description, a primary goal of the aerospace engineering course is to build enthusiasm and to provide knowledge of real-world skills related to the aerospace industry.
When asked about his expectations for students taking the course, Ward said he simply wants them to be able to apply what they’ve learned.
“My expectations for students taking the aerospace engineering course is the same for all my engineering students,” said Ward. “I want them to learn how to apply their science and math skills to solve engaging problems, to gain confidence in their ability to do things that they did not think they could, and to gain an enthusiasm for the career possibilities that involve the knowledge of science and math.”
“This course is a very innovative and creative course that shows me how much fun aerospace and rocketry can be,” said Madison Korel, a student in the class. “The flight simulator helps to visibly show what is occurring when I change the variables and moving parts on the plane. Using the simulator makes me feel enlightened and smarter with the influx of knowledge that is being received from using it.”
Korel said her personal career goals are to be a software developer or programmer for either the government or a private company.
Tanner Lee, who plans to become a civil engineer, said Ward has been a great influence on his career decision.
“I am really enjoying this class and learning about the aspects of flying,” he said. “The flight simulator is helpful in actually showing how adjustments affect the way planes fly. I love using the flight simulator because it makes me feel like I actually understand what’s happening rather than just doing math on paper.”
Omar Miles, who has plans to become an aerospace engineer, said the flight simulator provides him with a “more visual and physical perspective” of what it is like to fly an aircraft.