Girls in Aviation

Workshop for girls interested in aviation – Gabrielle Escudero, left, and Rachel Piacentini, competed this summer in the 2018 Air Race Classic, and are now helping to organize an opportunity for students in fifth through eighth grade to learn more about the aviation industry during a “Girls In Aviation” workshop Oct. 13. (Photo by Russell Bailey)

October 05, 2018

‘Girls In Aviation’ program at SIU will highlight potential careers

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Students in fifth through eighth grade have an opportunity to learn more about the aviation industry Oct. 13 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

“Girls In Aviation Day,” presented by the SIU aviation program’s Women in Aviation Saluki Aviation chapter, is designed to provide girls with hands-on aviation-related experiences. The event focuses on encouraging and supporting girls to become involved in the aviation industry in the future.

The free event is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a bag lunch.

The program will be in SIU’s Transportation Education Center and the aviation technologies hangar at Southern Illinois Airport between Carbondale and Murphysboro. Students will receive information on where to meet when they register.

Introduction to aviation careers

Throughout the day participants will get a glimpse into a variety of careers within the aviation industry as they:

  • Explore the world of aviation.
  • Learn about jobs at airports.
  • Fly a flight simulator and get a feel for the controls.
  • Build and launch bottle rockets.
  • Create a sheet-metal project.
  • Find out what an aircraft dispatcher does.
  • Check out different types of airplanes.
  • Use tools that an aircraft mechanic does.
  • Talk like a pilot when you say the alphabet.

Excellent future career potential

The 2018 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook projects a robust demand for people seeking careers within the aviation industry over the next 20 years. Experts predict a need for 790,000 new civil aviation pilots, 754,000 new maintenance technicians and 890,000 new cabin crew for a worldwide fleet in commercial and business aviation and civil helicopter industries.

Registration information

Parents can sign their daughters up by emailing Gabrielle Escudero, president of SIU’s Women in Aviation registered student organization, at

Escudero, a senior in aviation management and flight from Aurora, along with teammate and instructor Rachel Piacentini, competed in the 2018 Air Race Classic in June.

Faculty, staff and students will participate

About 10 students from the Women in Aviation program, along with several faculty and staff, will participate. Faculty participating include Charles Rodriguez, a visiting lecturer, and Don Morris, an assistant professor in the aviation technologies program.