STEM Students from Maine Central Institute learn about Aviation

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 6:50 PM EDT
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PITTSFIELD, Maine (WABI) - A once in a lifetime opportunity at Pittsfield airport where students from the MCI STEM program are learning all about aviation. For some, it is their first time being close to a plane.

“I have never seen a plane this near myself,” said MCI student, Victoria Chen.

Chen is one of the students who came from Taiwan for the summer Stem camp at Maine Central Institute. The five-week program is a chance for the students to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math at the Pittsfield campus. Their first week in aviation is between the classroom and the field.

“Today, I get to see a real plane take off and landing and all the flying, it is something that I love to see,” MCI student Ray Hong said.

His feelings are not too far from mine as I got the opportunity to witness what it was like over 1000 feet above sea level. 19-year-old Randall Starbird was the pilot, who also graduated from the program.

“It is trilling to say the least... it is something that not everyone gets to experience on the small scale like I am doing now,” Starbird said.

He is also one of the instructors helping the students in class and on the field.

“It is very nice to be able to show them and talk to them. I have told them plenty of stories that I’ve had while flying and seeing them interested in that and wanting to create their own stories is quite exciting,” Starbird said.

Chen says she’s only seen planes on magazines before now. She is excited for the future especially seeing women who are pilots in Maine.

“In Taiwan, we don’t actually see that much female pilots. They are all male actually. It made me feel like, oh, me myself, can be a pilot too,” she said.

They tell us that people would not normally be interested in aviation unless they experience first hand, and that is why this program is important.

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