PECPS students participate in STEM program

Published 4:09 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021

Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) recently offered a month-long 21st Century STEM Summer Program for fifth-grade students to high school seniors.

The Flying Classroom, led by Captain Barrington Irving, immersed students into a virtual journey around the world.

Jenyiah Coward

Irving is a 2007 Guinness World Record holder for the youngest person ever and first Black man to fly solo around the world. The enrichment program served 49 students. “Summer camp was fun. We got to build solar panels and dissect a cow’s eye,” fifth-grader Kyla Barksdale said.

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Throughout the month students learned how venom from a sea snake could save lives, explored tectonic plates in Iceland, investigated biomedical engineering with a flying eye hospital, and more.

Engineering design challenges field trips were incorporated into the weekly curriculum, which was supplied by Irving and the Flying Classroom. Field trip locations included High Bridge Trail State Park, Amazement Square in Lynchburg, the Richmond Jet Center and the Richmond International Airport.

Irving joined PECPS students on the final trip to the Jet Center and Airport. During the trip to Richmond, students were exposed to different careers in aviation such as mechanics, pilots, operations staff and more. Students were given the opportunity for conversations and questions with airport and jet center employees and learned what route to take to get to the different careers.

Kyla Barksdale

Sixth-grader Jenyiah Coward said her favorite things about summer camp were building solar panels and learning about airplanes.