Eastern Michigan University Digital Divas program hits the runway with STEM Flights

Program introduces girls to aviation careers

A young woman smiles with her hand on a small plane on the runway
(EMU file photo)

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University’s Digital Divas program is preparing to drive interest in aviation careers with STEM Flights, an aviation program for metro Detroit high school girls. The experience is slated at noon on Aug. 18 at Willow Run Airport, Eastern Michigan School of Aviation Campus, 801 Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti. The program is free for students, however, registration is mandatory.

“Our goal for Digital Divas is to expose young girls to every type of STEM career that exists,” said Bia Hamed, EMU’s director of K-12 STEM outreach and Digital Divas program director. “STEM Flights is another avenue to help interest our girls in aviation and the benefits of joining an ever-growing robust industry by using hands-on, real-life experience.”

According to recent statistics from the Pilot Institute, there are 64,979 women pilots, which accounts for 9.02% of total pilots. The percentage of women that are flight instructors or remote pilots is at only 7.70% and 7.61%.

STEM Flights will introduce students to a day in the life of a woman in aviation. They will meet women from the aviation industry, experience a tour of an air traffic control tower, take a plane ride with a pilot and tour an airplane hangar with vintage airplanes. The program will reinforce the University's strategic mission to promote student success and engagement.

“EMU Aviation, with its flight partner Crosswinds Aviation, is excited about partnering with STEM Flights for the first time in August,” said Jerry Delaney II, aviation program coordinator at EMU.  “The students will meet potential mentors, and EMU Aviation will serve as a guide for students as they explore professional flight as a career.  With the growing shortage of pilots, we hope to inspire more young people to explore an exciting career in aviation.”

For more information or to sign up to participate, visit the STEM Flights website. This event is accepting applications for pilot mentors. STEM Flights will provide checklists, flight information and liability waivers. Pilots can expect to fly two missions of 20 minutes each. Interested individuals can apply by visiting the STEM Flights pilot mentor application.

About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up-to-date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

July 13, 2022

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Brittany Mobley