Sooner Flight Academy School’s Out Day Camps Offer Kids What They Want


Sooner Flight Academy School’s Out Day Camps Offer Kids What They Want

If you’re looking for quality educational programming to entertain your kids while school is out, the University of Oklahoma has a new option.

Sooner Flight Academy at OU is now offering science and technology-based day camps that coordinate with the Norman Public Schools calendar. On days when school is out, kids can feed their natural sense of curiosity in a fun and engaging setting.

The interactive, high-energy camps are open to boys and girls in first through fifth grades and will focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities that offer kids an opportunity to explore a wide variety of subjects and apply what they learn to real-life situations, said April Maddry, field trip and school programs coordinator for Sooner Flight Academy.

“We give kids the opportunity to explore how things work. We want them to be able to apply the concepts they learn to real-world applications,” Maddry said. “Students have so much fun doing the activities, they don’t realize they are learning about science and math. Our goal is for students to want to come back year after year.”

Maddry, whose own children have attended the camps, said Sooner Flight Academy offers a one-of-a-kind experience not offered anywhere else.

“Students have so much fun doing the activities, they don’t realize they are learning about science and math. Our goal is for students to want to come back year after year.”

“They love being at the airport and around the OU aircraft,” Maddry said. “The concepts they are learning are helping them build a firm foundation for a successful future.”

Dawn Machalinski, program manager for Sooner Flight Academy, said the program brings a unique opportunity to young students that engages their need for hands-on learning and stimulation for future aspirations.

“There are many opportunities in Norman and the surrounding area for sports, dance, music and theatrics. The offerings for STEM education programs are more limited,” Machalinski said. “Our programs take place in the real-world atmosphere of a working airport, where participants can get up close to the action. Whatever the theme of the program, the world of aviation is so close you can hear, smell and sometimes touch the aircraft that belong to the OU Extended Campus School of Aviation Studies.”

The next camp, “Let’s Look at Light,” will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 20-21. The camp will explore light’s many facets through hands-on science experiments. Students will learn how light allows us to see things, why water changes the image of an object, how lenses work, how the human eye sees and much more. 

The following camp, held Feb. 18, will focus on the science of ice crystal formation and winter weather, and the spring break camp March 19-21 will be a “maker space” focusing on engineering, problem-solving and tinkering. Students will be able to brainstorm, build and create their own projects.

Each camp includes take-home educational materials that enhance the lessons students have learned at camp.

Students may register for as many days as they want each session. Cost to attend the camp is $60 per student, per day. Campers will need to bring a sack lunch, but snacks and water will be provided.

Visit the Sooner Flight Academy website to register for a camp. For more information about the camps, call (405) 325-1635 or email flightcamp@ou.edu. 

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Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.