On Tuesday, April 12, approximately 250 area high school students and teachers from USD 259 arrived in buses to experience what WATC’s National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) has to offer. They were given numbers and divided into two separate groups. Half of the students had a seat in the auditorium to listen to a presentation featuring President, Dr. Tony Kinkel, and the rest were divided into nine tour groups and escorted around the campus before the two groups switched.
The presentation in the auditorium began with President, Dr. Tony Kinkel welcoming the students and speaking about the merits of a technical education in society and individually. Enrollment/Activities Coordinator Laura Fowler then followed with information about the different programs WATC offers. She demonstrated how students can apply to WATC through the college’s website; she showcased WATC’s social media channels, and ended with a question and answer session.
The tours covered the facility and included stops in the labs for Welding, Mechanical Design, Machining, Non-Destructive Testing, Composites, Aerospace Coatings & Paint, Aviation Maintenance Technology (Airframe & Powerplant), Aerostructures, and also Robotics with NIAR. Within each lab, the program instructors presented their respective programs, and some gave short demonstrations. Students were able to see examples, meet the instructors, and see the labs where classes take place.
Midway through the morning, students gathered in the facility’s hangar that opens up to Jabara Airport for the landing of an Eagle Med helicopter. The helicopter pilots then opened up the doors to the helicopter and were available to answer questions as the students filed past to view the cockpit up close.
The event concluded with hamburgers, chips, beverages, and brownies from NCAT’s Touch N Go Café.