On Friday, July 30th, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, in partnership with Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Delta Airlines, LaGuardia Redevelopment, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Langston Hughes Library, and the Queens Public Library, held its 3rd summer STEM program graduation at Vaughn College. A group of more than 40 students across grades 6, 7, and 8 participated in the three-week summer program focusing on aviation and aeronautical education such as air traffic control, weather/climate change and pollution, kites, rockets, sustainable energy, and more. Each lesson included a hands-on, interactive, educational activities. The ceremony featured guest speakers from our partners, a pilot from Delta Airlines, and each student received a certificate of completion and a photograph with a Delta pilot.
John Leo Jr., First Officer, Boeing 737, spoke to the students at Friday’s ceremony opening with a visual aid as an airliner roared down a LaGuardia runway across the highway from Vaughn College. “That airplane taking off is a Delta Boeing 737. That’s what I fly,” he said as the seated children all craned their necks to watch the aircraft take off. “When you have a failure, smile, carry on and know there are successes ahead,” he told the students, who spent their summer conducting experiments and designing airplanes of their own. Victor, a student who has participated in all three years of this program, shared his feelings on the program. “I greatly appreciate this program; I made a lot of friends during this. Probably my favorite part was last week when we made bottle rockets!”
Thursday, July 22nd, Deputy Queens Borough President Rhonda Binda visited the STEM program at Langston Hughes Library where the students were learning about rockets and propulsion. Deputy BP Binda was impressed with the program and the level of student engagement. She expressed the appreciation of Queens BP Donovan Richards to the Port Authority for continuing to provide this opportunity each year.