Aviation leaders, educators and officials will meet with students in Roswell next week as the city hosts the New Mexico Aviation and Aerospace STEM Expo for the first time.
“It is a great opportunity for students to learn about a career field and get insight and some advice from someone who actually works in that field,” said Bill Shuert, event coordinator and a member of the New Mexico Aviation and Aerospace Association, which has organized the event for seven years.
He said New Mexico has a great need for a trained workforce in aviation and aerospace, which includes more than pilots or aircraft maintenance professionals. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors, National Weather Service employees, air traffic controllers and airport authority officials are just a few examples of other careers in the industries.
The event has invited youth in sixth to 12th grades, as well as some college students, to talk with industry professionals and look at some of the latest technologies used. The Expo will occur Thursday at the Roswell Air Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Shuert said he expects about 3,500 students, including 2,400 from the Roswell area. That includes about 32 aircraft exhibits. The Aviation Division of the New Mexico Department of Transportation also intends to be there. The participation makes the event the nation’s largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) exposition focusing on aerospace and aviation, Shuert said.
With a theme of “Women in Aviation and Science,” the keynote speaker is scheduled to be Jill Myers, an aerospace and aviation management consultant who has spent more than 30 years in the industry, including working with Boeing, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman. She has been a private pilot since she was 17.
Shuert said girls and young women are encouraged to consider fields that need more women representation.
More information is available on the association’s website, nmaaa.net.