Parent Teacher Magazine Union County Public Schools Sept/Oct 2017 - Page 17

UCPS students soar to new heights in aerospace summer camp Weddington High School student Evan Jezek wants to be an engineer when he grows up. So instead of sitting at home this summer, the rising freshman joined more than a dozen other UCPS students at a four- day aerospace summer camp hosted at Sun Valley High School (SVHS). The camp is just one of 14 summer programs offered by the school district’s Career Readiness department. Standing in the aerospace classroom, Evan said he’s already learned about ballistics, launching procedures and building rockets after only two days in the camp. “I really liked making rockets today,” he said. “I like this camp because you get to meet new people and do something new, and it’s really fun too.” SVHS instructor Bill Vivian said the summer camp for rising eighth and ninth graders is a condensed version of what high school students learn during his aerospace course during the school year. Finding a way to do weeks-long math and science projects in only four days was a challenge, he said, but the students have enjoyed learning about aerospace concepts such as thrusts, ballistics and drags. “By the end of this camp, I want them to understand Newton’s laws and have some understanding of what aerospace could be,” he said. “It’s more than just flying a jet or going into space. Aerospace is how they make NASCAR cars stay on the ground. Ballistics can be used in crime scene investigations. There are many different aspects to this class.” The great thing about the aerospace summer camp, he added, is that it exposes the students to a career path and coursework they may have never considered before. At SVHS, the aerospace course is considered to be an advanced career honors-level class. “After four years of this, they could go right into the business. They could go into a job and be ready to start working in the field,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of research -- there’s a lot of companies here in Monroe that would benefit from students being able to get a job in this field.” Weddington Middle student Christian Peters said that while he doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, he’s now considering a career in a field related to aerospace after attending only a few days of the summer camp. “I’m very interested in science,” he said. “I’m glad that I’m in this camp because I get to meet new people and have fun.” —This article was provided by the Union County Public Schools Communications Office. UCPS students recently participated in a four-day aerospace summer camp. The camp was just one of 14 summer programs offered by the school district’s Career & Technical Education department. After only two days in the camp, students learned about ballistics, launching procedures and rockets. Parent Teacher Magazine • Sept/Oct 2017 • 15