Women in Aviation International has declared Sept. 26 as Girls in Aviation Day.
WAI chapters around the world will host their own events to attract more young women to the aviation and aerospace communities with a day of activities for girls ages 8 to 16.
“Since each WAI chapter has different resources, locales, and experts, we are relying on each chapter to organize its own local event for Sept. 26,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “We have supplied our chapters with some basic materials and ideas and they have delighted us with their plans.”
WAI has nearly 100 chapters worldwide which are planning Girls in Aviation Day events.
For example, the Central Florida Chapter is planning its event at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Their plan is to give a busload of girls from middle school to high school an insider’s tour of the airport along with other activities. Permission from the airport has been received, and an airport representative is working on plans with the chapter to ensure an informative and fun day.
The Middle Tennessee State University Chapter is combining Girls in Aviation Day with the Expanding Your Horizons program, a 40-year old program whose mission is to inspire girls to recognize their potential and pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The chapter anticipates hosting 300 girls.
The Northern Spirit/Winnipeg, Canada Chapter is hosting its Girls in Aviation Day at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada. In addition to other activities, the chapter is planning to have “Career Stations” throughout the museum where girls can stop and learn about each of the different aviation careers. A volunteer will be at each career station to offer an “experience.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Prescott Chapter has reached out to ERAU’s Diversity Center, the local Society for Women Engineers (SWE) chapter, and the Women’s Ambassador Program to create a day where girls can tour the school and the flight line and experience a series of interactive presentations and activities, such as flying simulators, model airplane building and Q&A sessions with current students.
Stars of the North/Minneapolis Chapter is teaming with EAA’s Young Eagles and AirSpace Minnesota. The Young Eagles program will provide airplane rides. AirSpace Minnesota has a hangar at a local airport that has an aviation learning center to teach the girls the basics of a traffic pattern, explain different careers within aviation and tell fun stories to engage the girls.
“Our members enthusiastically support the Girls in Aviation Day program,” adds Chabrian. “What’s more, there is strength in numbers, and we are delighted to join forces with other groups and organizations whose goals align with ours.”