MIDLAND Midland ISD’s Air Force Junior ROTC program has purchased a state-of-the-art flight simulator after winning a $10,000 grant from the Midland Education Foundation. This simulator will be used as a part of aerospace science STEM courses currently offered to more than 120 JROTC students across four MISD high school campuses.
Flight simulators are a critical component, not only for students hoping to one day become pilots, but for a variety of aviation-themed activities. The simulators provide a hands-on experience that expands opportunities in military, civilian, and aviation careers.
“These flight simulators engage our cadets by increasing their knowledge of basic aerodynamics and navigation,” said Chief Master Sergeant Jeff Deynzer, who teaches aerospace science. “The availability of this type of equipment puts our students on a direct path to pursue an education or career in aviation.”
The new simulation stations are set up in the JROTC’s remodeled STEM lab, and allow cadets to plan, fly, and navigate a variety of simulated aircraft. Additionally, JROTC cadets can train on the simulator in preparation for the Air Force JROTC Flight Scholarship program, which affords high school students the opportunity to begin the process of becoming a pilot. Having access to the simulator gives MISD cadets an increased chance to earn the $20,000 scholarship.
“Flight simulators create a unique flying experience for the cadets, allowing them to control virtual aircraft,” CMSgt. Deynzer said. “Using the simulator will help them improve their scores on the Aviation Qualifying test, which is a requirement for the JROTC flight scholarship.”
The Midland Education Foundation’s Grant for Great Ideas program, made possible by support from Enterprise Products, Diamondback Energy, Chevron, XTO, and ConocoPhillips, provides funds for innovative educational programs that cannot be funded by the district budget.