Project Innovation Aviators – I Too Can Fly

I Too Can Fly HCC

Top Gun Raykendrick Stanton About to Take Flight

December 4, 2011

Project Innovation Aviators is an after school education and mentoring program with the goal of stimulating the student’s interest in math and science while reducing the dropout rate. Midtown Partners of Jackson Mississippi manages the program supporting Brown Elementary and Rowan Middle Schools. The program initially was known as I Too Can Fly and is the brain child of Dr. Peter Stewart, a retired local educator. Knowing the fascination most kids have with aircraft and aviation, Dr. Stewart’s dream was to use aviation to motivate disadvantaged inner city kids to develop an interest in math and science education that would keep them engaged in school and off the streets. Dr. Stewart first ran the I Too Can Fly program using full scale aircraft as the motivator in 2004. The results were good, but due to the expense of using full scale aircraft, the program was unable to achieve the funding necessary to continue so the idea lay dormant until the summer of 2009 when Dr. Stewart, Col. Tal Anderson (USAF Ret.), and Dennis Lott, a local radio control modeler and aviation enthusiast were introduced. With Dr. Stewart’s guidance, Col. Anderson teaching aviation flight dynamics, Dennis Lott and son Paul Lott providing aircraft computer simulation training and hands on rc/uav flight instruction, a curriculum was assembled and the program was launched with eleven Rowan Middle School students.
Kristi Hendrix, Executive Director at Good Samaritan Midtown (now Midtown Partners) provided facilities, necessary support, and a six week program was launched. Walker Foundation provided pre and post program testing and reading instruction. Randy Pearcy, Chair of Hinds Community College Aviation Technology Department and Michelle Jackson, airport manager provided additional support with tours of the the Aviation Technology department facilities at John Bell William’s airport, Raymond Mississippi.  Airplane rides for the kids in HCC trainer aircraft, and hands on flight training on the HCC “Hot Seat” flight simulator and HCC desktop flight simulators were given. The program was run for six weeks and the results were impressive. In 2010 the program was bestowed the honor of winning the Governor’s Award for innovation in education. Follow up RC/UAV flight instruction was provided on an ongoing basis by Mid Mississippi R/C club flight instructors.

I Too Can Fly Hinds Community College Raykendrick Stanton and Paul Lott

Ready for Take Off – Rakendrick Stanton and Instructor Paul Lott

I Too Can Fly Top Gun

Top Gun Rakendrick Stanton

Playing the drums for Walker Foundation At HCC

Playing the Drums for Walker Foundation at HCC

Doctor Stewart I Too Can Fly Founder

Dr. Peter Stewart – Founder I Too Can Fly

I Too Can Fly Rakendrick and Bartavian Stanton Lecture on Flight Dynamics

Rakendrick and Bartavian Stanton Lecturing on Flight Dynamics

Congratulations for a successful flight

Congratulations for a Successful Flight


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