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DOAV Hosts Tour For Richard Bland STEM Program

The Virginia Department of Aviation hosted a tour for 24 high school students as part of an aviation-based summer STEM camp through the Richard Bland College of William & Mary.

Students visited the DOAV hangar and learned from the Communications and Education team about different careers in aviation. Each student had the opportunity to sit in three aircraft that are stationed in the hangar and learn about how they fly. They also operated a Gleim simulator for a virtual flight experience out of Richmond International Airport.

Chief Pilot Scott Richards showed the students inside a Beechcraft King Air that is used for executive flight services. Public Relations and Education Specialist Tony Sotelo talked to the students while they were seated in a Cessna aircraft, which is flown to airport visits and inspections. PR Coordinator David Halstead led a presentation about the ICON A5 amphibious light sport aircraft that DOAV uses for educational purposes.

Students participated in other aviation activities throughout the four-day STEM camp with Richard Bland. Campers learned about drones and experienced hands-on exercises that showcased the use of unmanned aerial systems in real-world scenarios. They worked with Amazon’s Web Services on exercises about how the use of STEM concepts helps the business meet customer needs.

The major highlight of the week was the visit to Richmond International Airport where students were given detailed tours of the Dominion Corporate Aviation hangar and the interactive experience at the DOAV. Following the visits, students had a question-and-answer session with Capital Region Airport Commission CEO Perry Miller, Police Chief Tanika Brown and Operations Manager Dereck Tingfah. The program was the result of the Richard Bland College and RIC partnership and more specifically, an initiative under the new “RIC-ARC” (RIC Aviation Reaching Communities) program.

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