CMS, WCMS students attend National Flight Academy

Eighth grade STEM students from Collierville Middle School and West Collierville Middle School recently had the opportunity to attend the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Fla.. These students, the second of three STEM Scholars cohorts, have been studying aspects of flight in class, including the science behind aeronautics. Their time at the National Flight Academy was the students’ capstone learning experience, which tied together all of their classroom learning in an exciting, immersive, hands-on environment.

Located onboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, the National Flight Academy is the world’s largest simulated aircraft carrier, named the Ambition. The multi-story, 102,000 square foot facility is full of advanced flight simulator technology and engaging programming that captured students’ attention from the moment they arrived. For three days, students lived onboard the Ambition, including sleeping in staterooms, eating on the mess deck, and flying missions, simulating the life of real U.S. Navy pilots. Students were also instructed in the forces of flight, radio communications, aerodynamics, geographical orientation, RADAR propagation, flight navigation calculations, and more as they raced to complete simulated flight mission objectives.

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Referred to as AXPs, or Ambition Experimental Pilots, while onboard Ambition, Collierville students were able to fly the National Flight Academy’s high-performance experimental X-12B Triad aircraft in simulators with their assigned squadron and Carrier Air Group while using 21st century workforce skills to complete their missions. Students had to communicate and collaborate effectively with each other in their squadrons, think critically and creatively, as well as solve problems quickly in order to fly a successful mission.

Collierville Schools was pleased to provide this unique experience to its students. Collierville Schools also thanks our partner sponsors, Bob and Susan Wilson of the Wilson Air Center and CTI Professional Flight Training for their support. To learn more about the National Flight Academy, visit www.NationalFlightAcademy.com

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