Students Interested in Aviation Soar at Alexandria Field “Cleared for Takeoff” Aviation Science Camp Promotes STEM

The “Cleared for Takeoff” aviation day camp is taking place for the 13th season at Alexandria Field in Pittstown, NJ.   July 13 – 17th. Camp Director, Linda Castner is helping develop the next generation of thinkers in STEM.

This year the camp welcomes Todd Copper a Certified Flight Instructor at the airport as an instructor at the camp. There are also many past campers returning to assist with the hands-on, “maker” approach to new learning.  Blake Schuette from Auburn University, Tucker Gott from RVCC, Ed Hannon from Embry Riddle University, Sean LaCourte a Freshman at Rutgers, Nick Longman and  Ethan Dean from Delaware Valley Regional HS, Daniel Szallai from Hunterdon Central.  Most assistants are pilots or are working toward their license.  All are involved in lesson planning and presenting lesson content while being great role models.


Assistant Tucker Gott said, “After several years of teaching at camp I have seen the value of using aviation to make “STEM” come alive.  What we do in camp truly sparks interest in our students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through the lens of aviation.”

The camp is always looking for organizations and businesses to provide camp scholarships. “Learning to fly an airplane is a commitment so being able to take a less expensive camp experience helps parents determine aptitude and interest before starting down that expensive path”, said Castner.   Not all students wish to become pilots. They are motivated to attend due to their interest in becoming engineers.

The camp curriculum is interactive and follows the basic course material needed to receive a Private Pilot’s License.  Aviation History (timeline of important events), Aeronautical Knowledge (what makes an airplane fly), Aircraft Design (the building of models), Power Sources (engines and rockets), Meteorology (weather experiments), Navigation Systems (Pilotage, Dead Reckoning, VOR and GPS), and Communications (airspace).  The campers are treated to a tour of Alexandria Field while learning about control towered airports and those without towers, runway layouts, wind socks, hangars and tie downs, runway markings, etc. Introductory flight lessons take place in the afternoon each day.

While the program is centered on aviation education many activities look at the concepts needed to problem solve, to develop leadership skills and the ability to collaborate on projects while involved in new learning – activities translate into knowledge needed to pilot one’s way through life.


For more information:

Alexandria Field website –