Plans taking shape for International Women in Aviation Day
By Women in Aviation International
Women in Aviation International has declared September 24, 2016, as the annual Girls in Aviation Day. On this day, WAI chapters around the globe will host their own one-day event to attract more young women to the aviation and aerospace communities with a day of activities appealing to girls ages 8 to 16 years of age. This program is an outgrowth of the successful Girls in Aviation Day events held during International Women in Aviation Conferences since 2012.
By Women in Aviation International
“Our chapters are planning their own special days,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “When we learn about the activities scheduled, we are proud of and inspired by the creativity and hard work our members put into Girls in Aviation Day to make it an engaging, powerful, and enjoyable experience in their communities.”
WAI’s network of more than 100 chapters around the world will host unique events, based on local resources, venues and availability of local aviation personalities. For example:
San Diego (California) Chapter will host its Girls in Aviation Day at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar Air Show, a three-day event that is the largest military air show in the United States. The air show includes a large selection of static displays representing current and historic airplanes from the Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Air Force, as well as commercial aircraft. This year’s flight performance schedule includes Sean D. Tucker in his Oracle Challenger, an F-16 Demo, the Breitling L-39 Jet Team, and an F-35B Lightning II demo and, of course, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The highlight of the day, no doubt, will be that participating girls will have an exclusive meet and greet with the Blue Angels team following their performance.
Stars of the North (Minnesota) Chapter will host an open-house event with numerous vendors from the aviation industry. Elizabeth McCormick, a former United States Army Black Hawk pilot and an amazing role model for girls, is the guest speaker. The day will have two sessions: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the St. Paul Downtown Airport (Holman Field). The website for the event is girlsinaviationdaymn.com.
Palmetto Pride (South Carolina) Chapter will present its first Girls in Aviation Day at the Boeing Company’s South Carolina site. The day will kick off with girls participating in Boeing’s DreamLearners program where teams actually build and fly their own airplane. A tour of the final assembly building where the 787 Dreamliner is assembled, special guest speakers and the opportunity to learn about careers in aviation will round out the day. The Palmetto Pride Chapter anticipates hosting 120 girls from all over the Low-country.
Animated video available for chapters as well
Filmmaker Kristen Currier, who has just earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, has agreed to allow WAI chapters to show her most recent project “Gaining Altitude” during Girls in Aviation Day events. Kristen grew up with a father who flew A-10s for the U.S. Air Force. Kristen says, “My favorite things to animate are the sky, creatures, planes, and stories of perseverance. One of my current goals is to work towards getting my own pilot’s license.” A low-resolution version of the three-minute animated “Gaining Altitude” may be seen at https://vimeo.com/166535642.
“These are just initial plans of some of our chapters,” adds Chabrian. “In the weeks ahead, we’ll hear more and more chapters’ agendas of their fun-packed days. Our chapters from India, to Switzerland, to Hong Kong, to North America will introduce so many girls to aviation who otherwise never would be aware of its career potential. Our future is in good hands.”
In addition to a selection of educational materials, each participant in Girls in Aviation Day will receive the second edition of Aviation for Girls. This magazine, which debuted last year at Girls in Aviation Day events, includes information about scholarship opportunities, aviation and aerospace colleges and universities, feature articles showcasing role models, and articles to illustrate aviation as an exciting career and lifestyle.