Greenon students get hands-on trip to Springfield airport

8th-graders meet with aviation, transportation leaders to get a look at career opportunities.

A Greenon Local Schools STEM teacher recently devised an all-day, hands-on field trip for all eighth-grade students to the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.

Tom Jenkins partnered with the airport and industry leaders in aviation to plan the experience with hands-on learning and discovery of career opportunities in aviation.

“This field trip took a lot of coordination and support from industry leaders, and I could not have done it without their willingness to share their expertise. It’s an honor to know we’re a part of impacting and shaping future leaders and innovators of tomorrow,” Jenkins said, expressing his gratitude to all involved for their support and dedication to the students.

The idea of the trip started last December with a collaboration between Jenkins and Seth Zimmerman, manager of the airport. The two talked about an entire day dedicated to students’ first-hand learning rather than a quick field trip. The intention was to expose the students to practical experiences, teach them about the diverse career options within the airport industry and give them a hands-on experience.

Brittany Olson, a Greenon graduate and assistant airport manager, also played a role in bringing the field trip to life by creating a plan and schedule.

During the visit, students met with industry leaders, including representatives from Joby Aviation, Beta Technologies, Lone Mountain Aircraft, Spectra Jet Inc. and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Each stop on the all-day trip offered insights into different aspects of aviation and transportation to provide students with an understanding of the field and career opportunities.

Highlights of the trip with each industry leader included:

  • Joby Aviation: Students discussed building businesses, prototyping and exploring various career options, and had the opportunity to experience a personal flying lesson using the company’s flight simulator.
  • Beta Technologies: Students learned about vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technology and experienced flying simulators, gaining insights into rapid delivery services and modeling importance.
  • Lone Mountain Aircraft: Students investigated aviation maintenance, troubleshooting aircraft issues and exploring internship opportunities.
  • Spectra Jet Inc.: Students received hands-on experience with high-end private jets, discussing avionics, sensors and career pathways in jet maintenance.
  • Ohio Department of Transportation: Students participated in a vertiport engineering design challenge, gaining practical knowledge about logistics, regulations and drone use in transportation.

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