Local High School Girls Explore Aviation

Published in Midwest Flyer – February/March 2020 issue

The third annual “Girls In Aviation Day” (GIAD), held October 3, 2019 by Women in Aviation, International (WAI) Great Lakes Chapter, was a great success! Eighteen high school girls from Mid-Michigan had fun exploring different career paths in aviation. Worldwide over 20,000 girls, from age 8-17, participated in 118 events held by chapters in 17 countries.

“GIAD has increased from 4,000 students to 20,000 in just five years. It’s amazing to see how quickly GIAD has grown and we’re excited to see these girls be the future of aviation,” said Helen Hagg, President of the Great Lakes Chapter.

The event was held at Kent Career Technical Center Aviation Center at the Grand Rapids, Michigan airport. Activities from the day included building bracelets made out of materials used in private jets, performing a preflight of an aircraft, riveting, and inspecting engines. Students also had fun learning about airspace, brainstorming aviation careers, meeting professionals and flying drones, which was by far the most exciting part.

Volunteers who helped lead were aviation professionals including pilots, mechanics, former military personnel, engineers, air traffic controllers, and aviation business owners and managers. Aviation students from Western Michigan University’s Women in Aviation Chapter, also were a great inspiration to the girls.

“It’s important to let girls know about the numerous opportunities that are available to them in aviation, in this non-traditional career,” said Jayne Snider, Chapter Vice President. “They need to know they can pursue and achieve their dreams through networking and scholarships. We’re here to open those doors for them and get them thinking about aviation.”

For more information on scholarship opportunities and events held by the Women in Aviation, International Great Lakes Chapter, email waigreatlakes@gmail.com.

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