May 24, 2011

Aviation camp designed for high school students

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A camp hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s nationally recognized aviation program in July will introduce high school students to a wide range of aviation careers.

With assistance from the Federal Aviation Administration and other sponsors, the aviation program will host the inaugural Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy.

Registration is open for the weeklong residential program, which is limited to 20 students. The six-day camp runs July 17-22 and costs $250 per person. The camp is limited to students who have completed their freshman through senior years in high school. The registration deadline is June 19.

“It’s a great way for high school students to have exposure to different careers in aviation,” said David A. NewMyer, chair of the Department of Aviation Management and Flight.

One of the camp days will focus on pilot careers and feature time in flight training simulators and in aircraft, if the weather permits. Other days will focus on airport management and airport planning; aviation maintenance, including supply chain management; air traffic control; and safety inspection and management. Students will spend one day touring the air traffic control facilities at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, and also visit the Prologue Room at The Boeing Company to learn about the history of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.

Steve Goetz, an assistant instructor in aviation management and flight and the camp director, said it is important that students learn of the wide range of career possibilities in aviation. The camp will allow students to explore some of the various aviation fields and also learn about job requirements.

“There’s a lot more out there than just flying the airplanes and telling them where to go,” he said. “There is an entire world behind the doors of an airport that a lot of people don’t think about. It’s a small community. For being the global profession that it is, it is a tight-knit community and we all kind of take care of each other.

“This is an opportunity for us to introduce young people to it,” Goetz said.

SIUC is one of two collegiate aviation programs in Illinois, and the only public university in the state offering the ACE Academy. Lewis University in Romeoville also offers the camp. SIUC is also the only facility to offer the camp within about a 300-mile radius of Carbondale, Goetz said.

The camp will feature instructors from SIUC, the FAA and the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics, said Lorelei Ruiz, an associate professor in aviation management and flight. In addition, four students in the University’s aviation program will serve as camp counselors.

Other primary camp sponsors include AAR Corp., a Wood Dale-based aviation maintenance and product supply company; the Illinois Department of Transportation; the Southern Illinois Airport Authority; and the University’s aviation program.

This is the third aviation-related summer camp that the aviation program offers. The annual Summer Wings program, and a NASA Wings camp, are also on tap for this year. The three camps are very important “in showcasing what SIUC has to offer,” Ruiz said.

“Not only in promoting aviation … but from an SIUC standpoint just getting the word out there that these careers are available, and we have some programs that help students get there,” she said.

More information about the camp is available by contacting Goetz at 618/453-9258 or by email at To register, call SIUC’s Division of Continuing Education at 618/536-7751. Registration online is available at or by FAX at 618/453-5680.