For the fourth year running, the New Mexico Aviation Aerospace Association held their Career Expo in Alamogordo, NM. The event took place at Hollman Air Force Base and is held each year to promote careers and training in New Mexico aerospace and aviation industries. By giving students a chance to experience the range and richness of the field, the hope is that young people will be motivated to explore aeronautics and other STEM opportunities.
To accomplish this task, more than 27 aircraft and 46 exhibits were showcased at the event. Albuquerque based Sandia Aerospace has played a large part in making this event happen for several years, giving kids access to real examples of the technical marvels that let humankind leave the ground. Sandia President Dennis Schmidt describes having a young man ask to touch a King Air on display last year. “We said yes and he ran his hand along the nose of the plane and said “wow, I’ve never touched an airplane before.” So many of the kids get excited with the possibility that they could actually fly or work on these airplanes someday.” For many like that young expo attendee, this event was the first chance they’ve had to experience the wonder of aviation for themselves.
Other exhibit topics included weather, robotics, engineering, and rocketry. Representatives from aviation colleges, Hollman Air Force Base, and the general aviation community were all on hand to share their first-hand experiences in the flight world with the students. In addition, US Congressman Steve Pearce spoke at the event, relaying his own experiences as a combat pilot in Vietnam and with GA in his own Mooney.
This is the largest event of its kind in the United States, with more than 2,300 students participating. Participants range from middle school to college level. The NMAA is a volunteer, non-profit organization. This event was put together solely on donations and sponsorship, including funding for transporting students to the event.
Learn more at NMAAA.