A group of South Lenoir High School students who used teamwork and problem-solving skills to win a massive digital scavenger hunt last month got their grand-prize payoff Wednesday -- several hundred feet above Kinston.
The students in David Whaley's Project Lead the Way class, an engineering program at South Lenoir, won their own aerial tours of the area courtesy of Henley Aviation, pilot Johnny Henley and the N.C. Global TransPark. The flights in Henley's private plane were their reward for coming in first among the some 800 students who played the scavenger hunt in teams during the local observance of National Manufacturing Day, based at the GTP.
With Henley at the controls, students essentially circled Kinston. "The landing was the toughest part," said Casey Steffa, who along with most of the other students had not flown before Wednesday.
In addition to flying, the students visited the Lenoir Community College's Center for Aviation Education at the GTP, learned about LCC's aviation program and spent time in the college's flight simulator.
"The biggest thing is the students learned more about the careers available here, the businesses and the opportunities in the area," Whaley said of the afternoon's educational value. "These students are studying digital electronics, so that also fits in. Aviation is digital electronics."
Jessica Shimer, the school district's career development coordinator, praised the cooperation of Henley; the GTP and Rick Barkes, its executive director and airport director; and Jeff Jennings, LCC's aviation management program director.
"What a great day yesterday," Shimer said. "What a grand prize for our students."
A photo album of the grand-prize trip is here.
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