Written by Makayla Schnidler with WBOY

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — Pierpont Community & Technical College’s (PCTC) Aviation [Maintenance] program is planting seeds in young students who are interested in the career field through a hands-on summer camp.

Beginning on July 10, a dozen Harrison County students from Mountaineer Middle School arrived at the Robert C. Byrd Aerospace Center for a two-day summer camp full of aviation knowledge and activities. According to Dr. Brad Gilbert, Director of Aviation Technology at PCTC, more than 400 students were expected to attend the camp over the three weeks.

While attending the free-of-charge aviation summer camp, students will get to tour the facility and aircrafts, build power gliders, use the new flight simulator computer systems, and receive instruction relating to the aircraft flight theory.

The PCTC Aviation [Maintenance] program’s goal is to plant seeds in the students, so that as they grow and go through school, they realize that Aviation Technology careers are available to them in north central West Virginia.

“We have multibillion dollar corporations right here on our air field and as one of the youngsters said today coming into the building, ‘I never knew this place existed,’ so that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Gilbert.

The program started the camp last year, and this year, it is hosting a total of five counties. Last week, the summer camp took place for Lewis and Marion County students, and this week, PCTC is hosting Harrison and Taylor County. Camp days for Taylor County students fall on July 12 and 13. Next week, Doddridge County Middle School students will be able to participate in the camp on July 17 through July 20.

Students can sign up or enroll after graduating, and the Aviation Program also offers classes to high schoolers through the dual enrollment program in Harrison, Marion, and Taylor counties, which are available to students as early as their junior year. Dr. Gilbert explained that students could accomplish a whole year of college credit and be a step ahead other incoming students out of high school. For more information about enrollment and how to enroll in PCTC’s “dual enrollment program,” visit this website.

Looking for more upcoming PCTC events? The College will be hosting “Girls in Aviation,” during the Fall semester. To keep an eye out for updates about the event, you can find them on PCTC’s Facebook Page. The Fall semester begins on Aug. 21, so if you are thinking about enrolling or applying, you can do so at this link.

To view the video from WBOY, CLICK HERE.