Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program students attend a class at the Barksdale Club on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., July 18. The class dealt with airports and the importance of understanding flight patterns and rules. LA GEAR UP prepares students for things they may encounter while pursuing a career in aviation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Martin)(RELEASED)
Jackson Klever, Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program student, uses a rubber band to slingshot a ball to his classmates during a leadership activity at Hoban Hall on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., July 17. The activity was designed to show campers the importance of leadership and allow them to demonstrate those skills. LA GEAR UP is designed to give high school students, who show an interest in aviation, an opportunity to explore the different options available to them after graduation. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Martin)(RELEASED)
Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program students attend a class about avionics at the Barksdale Club on Barksdale Air Force Base, La., July 18. The class topics dealt with different areas in the avionics career field. The two-week long LA GEAR UP camp is designed to give students, who are interested in a career in avionics, the tools and skills needed to make the right career choices. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Sean Martin)(RELEASED)
by Senior Airman Sean Martin
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
7/19/2012 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La -- Team Barksdale members partnered with students and instructors from the local community to host an aviation camp meant to prepare students for life after graduation.
The 2012 Louisiana Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program is designed to give high school students who show an interest in aviation an opportunity to explore the different options available to them after graduation.
"This event was started to show high school students postsecondary education opportunities that are available to them," said Jordan Lyons, LA GEAR UP camp director. "Students in this program are better equipped to choose the correct career path for themselves."
The camp began July 15 and runs through to Saturday. The theme of LA GEAR UP is Soaring to New heights with the focus on aviation. They are also briefed on financial support opportunities available to them.
The students will attend a week-long camp which will touch on various topics related to aviation; such as power plants, flight instruments, airports, safety of flight, aeronautics charts, airspace, pilot math and leadership training. These topics are key when dealing with aviation and the way it works, said Terry Snook, 8th Air Force Museum Association president.
The 8 AF Museum Association strives to further the education of local students through outreach programs.
"This program exposes the student to new ideas and career fields that they may aspire to later on in life," said Snook. "The main emphasis is on continuing their education."
This year marked the first time LA GEAR UP has been held on an Air Force installation. In the past, it has been held at local colleges and universities.
"I presented the information to the wing commander and he was very positive about hosting the program here," said Snook. "It not only gives the students a direct exposure to aviation, but it allows them to live amongst aviation as well."
Throughout the week, the students shadowed pilots and aircrew members, attended classes dealing with aviation and toured a B-52H Stratofortress which gave them a hands-on learning experience.
"Being exposed to these things and people is something the students would not be able to do on a college campus," said Snook. "The students have reacted very positively to this year's camp so far. Staying on base allowed the students to see first-hand what it's like to have such an important job. Its been a very positive learning experience for the students."
Although this program was a first for Barksdale, Snook said he and the 8 AF Museum Association would like to see this become a trend.
"The entire base has been very supportive," said Snook. "We have been welcomed with open arms from everyone involved."