Congressman Schneider Makes PWK First Stop on STEM Tour
Chicago Executive Airport last weekend hosted Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL) and two dozen area high school students for an airport-wide tour that included a visit to the local FAA Airport Traffic Control Tower and Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, one of the airport’s three private terminals or fixed base operators. Students came from as far away as Warrenville High School,
The was the first visit in a number planned during the course of the next year for these 10th District STEM scholars designed to connect highly-motivated students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with hands-on learning experiences throughout our district. Last Saturday’s session was created specifically to help students learn more about STEM careers in the aviation industry. Students had a chance to participate in discussions with local airport employees, business owners, and educators about STEM career opportunities in their backyard.
Because none of the students attending had ever met one another before their first airport visit, Executive Secretary Jennifer Pfeifer engaged the group with a unique icebreaker known as Nut Stacker designed to get students to work in teams to accomplish a goal with only a “minute to win it.”
When asked why his office created the program, Representative Schneider said, “My passion for science was sparked at an early age through extracurricular programs, so I am excited about the opportunity to expose the next generation to new opportunities in STEM, such as aerospace, and the skills they need to pursue them. I enjoyed spending time with these bright young people from our district, who offered up a number of great questions. I hope today’s visit helps spur an interest in these topics and understanding of the doors that a STEM education can open.”
He added, “I’m also grateful to Chicago Executive Airport and their team for being such welcoming hosts to our students.” The airport tour was led by Executive Director Jamie Abbott.
Like a number of students who attended last weekend’s session, Representative Schneider took a turn at landing an airplane using a desktop flight simulator.