Local teenagers invited to explore aviation field at Tinker

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- The exploration of aviation will take local teenagers from a classroom setting to Tinker Air Force Base July 19.
   Thirty adolescents between the ages of 15 and 18 years old will tour Tinker to gain a behind-the-scenes perspective of the aviation field through a program better known as Aerospace Day. The teens are from the University of Oklahoma's Sooner Flight Academy.
   "This is a special interest marketing activity to introduce tomorrow's workforce to the many unique high tech career opportunities offered at Tinker," said John English, Force Development program analyst.
   The teens will see three laboratories - Industrial Chemical Analysis, Metallurgical Analysis and Quality Verification Center - in Bldg. 3001 and visit with Tinker's scientists and engineers.
   Following the lab tour, the teens will eat a sack lunch at pavilion six, just east of Bldg. 3001 and mingle with Tinker pilots. After lunch, the students will tour Bldgs. 2121 and 2122 to see the B-52 and B-1 hangars, respectively.
   "This program allows students with an interest in aviation to see what we do here at Tinker," Mr. English said.
   Mr. English said the Aerospace Day program also introduces the teenagers to Tinker should they later decide to pursue a career with the Air Force.
   The Sooner Flight Academy is a program to encourage the development of aviation and technology through practical education in science and mathematics. The academy offers adult and youth programs and includes summer camps for 4 to 18-year-olds, according the program's Web site.
   Flight Zone campers will attend July 19's Aerospace Day. The Flight Zone program is a college prep class. In June 2006, the Top Guns campers attended a similar Aerospace Day program at Tinker. Top Gun campers were comprised of 60 11- to 13-year-olds.