Culver City Edition Education Local News West Edition

Students graduate from airport’s ACE Academy

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles International Airport’s annual Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy concluded last week, after sharing more than 150 aviation-related career paths with 35 middle and high school students. 

The program showcases opportunities in the aviation industry through hands-on presentations and field trips led by industry professionals and Los Angeles World Airports staff. 

“For many LAX ACE Academy students, this is the first time they learn that aviation career opportunities are within their reach, and how far those careers can take them,” said Michelle Schwartz, deputy executive director for external affairs at the airport. “Together with our program partners, we are creating lasting impressions about aviation that can propel young minds into future careers in this dynamic industry.”

The LAX ACE Academy exposes students to a variety of positions and offices at LAX and Van Nuys general aviation airport. From airport operations to information technology, and from commercial flight to aircraft fire rescue, students get an up-close and personal look at how those varied jobs are done, as well as how they fit into the aviation industry. Experts answer detailed questions from students and offer one-on-one guidance for those interested in a particular field.

The program’s first week, which was for students in grades 8 through 10, started on June 17 and concluded on June 22. The program’s second week, which was for students in grades 10 to 12, began on June 24 and concluded on June 28. 

Field trip destinations included Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control towers, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Spartan College of Aeronautics, and Air Force One Discovery at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Alumni of the program, which is in its 20th year, have gone on to become commercial pilots and attend West Point, among other aviation-related career paths.

This year, 20 middle school students came from schools including Orville Wright Middle School STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Magnet and Children of Promise Schools. This year also included 15 high school students, from schools as close to LAX as Westchester Enriched Science Magnet and Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, and from other schools from as far away as Hemet and Santa Clara. 

Students who registered for the program were selected on the basis of prior aviation interest or by a teacher’s or counselor’s recommendation.

Wave Staff Report