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Next summer, dozens of Gulf Coast high school students will travel to Pensacola to be welcomed aboard the world’s largest aircraft carrier — simulated aircraft carrier, that is.

As a result of a collaborative effort between the Mobile, Ala. Airport Authority Foundation and Brookley Aeroplex companies, 36 students from two Mobile high schools will be sponsored to attend the National Flight Academy’s six-day Deployment program on June 4, 2017.

The students will live for 6 days in the state-of-the-art, 102,000 square foot facility experiencing theme-park style thrills surrounded by advanced technology, flight simulators, and virtual reality games that ignite imagination and encourage learning.

The National Flight Academy, located aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida, is designed to address the concerns of declining Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills and standards in the United States. (NFA/Special to The Pulse)

The Brookley Aeroplex STEM Initiative is a collaborative effort of the Brookley Aeroplex aviation business community and is funded through sponsorships from Continental Motors, Airbus Americas, VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Alabama Power, Star Aviation, Signature Flight Support and the Mobile Airport Authority Foundation.

The total sponsorship investment is more than $50,000 and covers the six-day Deployment tuition and bus transportation for all students to the facility.

Using a competitive application process, the Brookley Aeroplex sponsors, along with representatives from B.C. Rain High School and the Alabama School of Math and Science, will identify participating children in 10th through 11th grades.

The National Flight Academy’s deployment adventure begins on a landlocked, virtual aircraft carrier, AMBITION (CVT-11). Students live aboard for six days and experience theme park-style thrills surrounded by advanced technology, flight simulators and virtual reality missions that ignite imagination and encourage learning. This partnership allows the above organizations to work together to inspire and engage students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with a goal of promoting workforce development.

The National Flight Academy is located on Naval Air Station Pensacola. (NFA/Special to The Pulse)

“THE NFA STEM program sponsored by the Brookley Aeroplex aviation business community is a way for us to be involved in the community and help the next generation see the value of focusing on STEM while in school,” says Rhett Ross. “Our goal is to excite the next generation of workers to realize that there are great careers with great pay as long as you leave high school with a STEM foundation.”

Another component of the Brookley Aeroplex STEM Initiative incorporates facility tours and job shadowing of participating companies. Students will gain real-world skills and hands on learning experiences while developing 21st century skills needed for success.

“It is an honor for us to partner with the Brookley Aeroplex aviation business community in their effort to invest in the next generation,” said Gen. Duane Thiessen, chief executive officer and president of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.

“By exposing students to various workplaces then applying skills at the National Flight Academy, they can better align their passions and make early connections to the employment available to them,” he furthered.

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