Sooner Flight Academy Launching Virtual Summer Camps


Sooner Flight Academy Launching Virtual Summer Camps

Using science and technology to solve challenging problems is a key part of what Sooner Flight Academy’s summer camps have been teaching Oklahoma’s youth for more than 30 years. So when the COVID-19 virus forced the cancellation of their annual in-person summer camps, the SFA team put their teaching into practice to develop Sooner Flight Academy’s first-ever Virtual Summer Camps.

SFA’s five-day Virtual Summer Camps will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday throughout June and July and will give kids age 6-18 the chance to explore the exciting world of aviation from the safety of their homes.

The SFA team had to act quickly to develop the new, virtual summer camps in time for their traditional start dates.

Registration for all virtual summer camps will remain open until camps are full, but the deadline to apply for a partial scholarship is May 25.

“Each day, there will be two sessions of group interaction on Zoom meetings,” said SFA Program Director Dawn Machalinski, “with time in-between for self-directed activities with toys, kits and supplies included for our virtual campers. Instruction, videos and content will be provided on the OU Canvas platform.”

Each camp will feature content specifically designed to engage campers at their learning level as they explore the science of flight through the use of fun physics exercises, as well as unique, hands-on STEM activities, self-directed projects and live demonstrations from science experts from around the world.

Registration for the Virtual Summer Camps opens on Wednesday, May 6 on the Sooner Flight Academy website. Partial scholarships are also available for up to 250 eligible campers thanks to a $46,000 grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The cost to attend a virtual camp ranges from $250 to $325, based on the age of the camper.

Parents and campers interested in learning more about how the virtual camps will work are invited to attend a free, two-hour virtual field trip on May 15 that will provide a glimpse of what camps will be like. Families will be able to watch the free virtual field trip on the SFA website.

“The virtual field trip will lead children on a pre-flight check of one of OU’s own Piper Warrior III airplanes,” Machalinski said. “We will explore the science of the Four Forces of Flight, Bernoulli’s Principle and learn about all the parts of a plane using toys and fun physics! You’ll also get to meet some of SFA’s Navigators, who will lead the children into the fun world of aviation science throughout the virtual summer camps.”

Registration for all virtual summer camps will remain open until camps are full, but the deadline to apply for a partial scholarship is May 25. You must apply for a scholarship at the time of registration. Please visit SFA’s scholarship page prior to registration for instructions on how to apply.

For more information about the virtual field trip or to register for a virtual summer camp session, visit flightcamp.ou.edu.

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Myk Mahaffey

Michael Mahaffey holds degrees in journalism and psychology. He is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience writing for print and digital publications, including award-winning coverage of the rodeo industry. In his spare time, he writes fiction, in addition to tinkering with graphic design and photography.