Thursday, May 9, Wichita Area Technical College (WATC) hosted students from Brooks Middle School at their main campus, the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) for the Flying Challenge event. The Flying Challenge is a mentoring program coordinated by the United Way of the Plains and sponsored by Airbus Corporate Foundation which introduces students to aviation careers and encourages them to earn better grades.
Students were able to experience hands-on WATC’s robotics, paint and avionics labs. What seemed to be the most exciting part of the day for the students was the opportunity to take flight in Cessna 172s. Kansas State University-Salina provided planes and pilots to take the excited, and some nervous students for a tour in the air.
United Way France and Airbus Corporate Foundation launched the Flying Challenge in Toulouse, France, in February 2012. On June 11, 2012, Airbus announced their partnership with United Way of the Plains through a gift of $250,000 to sponsor the program locally. It is the first Flying Challenge program in the United States.¹
Volunteers, teachers, employees, parents and Airbus Americas president and CEO, Barry Eccleston were also part of the event.
NCAT is an ideal location to host such an event. WATC’s aviation programs include Avionics, Quality Control, Manufacturing, Composites, Non-Destruction Testing, Coatings and Paint and more.
¹United Way of the Plains, “Helping students take flight”