ALAMOGORDO, NM — The City of Alamogordo and Holloman Air Force Base recently hosted the fourth annual New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Aviation Career Expo, attracting more than 2,300 middle school through college level students.
This Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) event was developed by the New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association (NMAAA) to help promote awareness of aviation in the state.
According to Bill Shuert, NMAAA president, this is the largest event of its kind in the United States.
“The NMAAA’s idea is to motivate and educate students and give them a taste of what aviation and aerospace in New Mexico is all about. We want students to have an opportunity to talk with and interact with people who are working directly in these career fields” Shuert said. “STEM is vital to our nation’s and our kid’s future.”
The students were able to get up close to some 27 aircraft, both general aviation and military.
The event also featured 46 other exhibits ranging from aerospace companies, weather, robotics, civil engineering and rocketry to Air Force Specialist educating students about career opportunities.
US Congressman Steve Pearce gave an inspirational speech about his personal flying experience, the benefits of learning STEM and encouraged them to enter into a STEM related career field.
“I wanted to excite them with the possibilities and tell them that it was OK to be scared because I was scared at first,” Pearce said. “If we’re going to evolve New Mexico’s youth, we want to evolve New Mexico’s economy. We are going to have to start when they’re in grade school and carry that excitement all the through life.”
Pearce is a strong supporter of general aviation and recently completed an around the flight in his Mooney. Pearce served as a combat pilot during the Vietnam War, having flown over 518 hours of combat flight and 77 hours of combat support.
“The New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Career expo made a great impression on our students and we were so happy to attend” said Natalie Wimberly, Alamogordo Public School STEM Coordinator. “We worked really hard to get our students to this event and were so impressed with the exhibitors. They really made a big impression and our students really learned some valuable insight.”
The NMAAA is a non-profit organization with an all volunteer staff. Promoting aviation and aerospace within the state of New Mexico, the NMAAA operates solely off of donations. According to officials, 100% of the donated funds go to providing transportation for New Mexico youth to attend the STEM Career Expo. If you are interested in donating to this event, contact email@example.com. Your donations are tax deductible.