Huntington’s aerospace program offers a bright future for high school students and community

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HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – A local high school in Cabell County has started a new program that is preparing kids for a career in the engineering sector, and some people hope the program will also brings new business and high paying jobs to area.

Huntington High School is starting its second year offering an Aerospace Engineering program to its students, and so far it is a big hit.

“The Course #1 students. . . when they first come in they love it,” said Travis Baker, instructor of Aerospace Engineering at Huntington High School.

Ben Stadler who is a junior in the class said, “The projects are just so fun to do. You get to make everything in your own image”.

The two year program has four courses: Theory of Flight, Space Travel, Inter-Space Travel, and Underwater Travel.

Baker said the program is also open to all the students at the high school.

“I have one freshman in the course. . . I have three sophomores, and the rest are juniors”.

“In the class kids learn everything from creating digital designs to printing them out on a 3-D printer.

The also get an opportunity to take part in projects that show them how to build drones, rockets, and learn how to Code.

They class even has a flight simulator.

“They get to learn how to get navigate when they fly the drones they make. They have learn how to plot a course,” said Baker.

David Lieving, president and CEO of the Huntington Area Development Corporation (HADCO), said he hopes the program will develop a skilled workforce that attracts aerospace engineering companies to the area that will create high paying jobs for local residents.

“If we do land some aerospace companies in this area they will have a working knowledge and be able to get a job at the entry level”.

Stadler said he is already focusing on job in aerospace engineering.

“It is just good money. . . just good overall knowledge really”.

Baker said the students are currently working on 3-D model of a seat to alleviate back pain for pilots, and sometime in the near future will presenting their work on the project to the school.

He also the course work in the program can be used as college credit.

Aerospace Engineering program students meet five days a week for about two hours each day.

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