Albert Whitted Airport buzzed with excitement and discovery during the second annual Aerospace Day, an event that turned the vastness of space and the intricacies of air travel into an interactive learning playground for Tampa Bay’s youth. Presented by Friends of Albert Whitted Airport (FOAWA) in partnership with St Pete Air and Passage, this year’s event soared to new heights, captivating young minds and fueling their dreams.

Aerospace Day 2024 welcomed 62 students and 20 parents. Their presence highlighted the community’s growing interest in science and technology, particularly in the aerospace sector.

The Voices of Innovation: STEM Leaders Share Their Wisdom

Distinguished speakers from diverse STEM backgrounds shared their insights and experiences.  The event featured guest appearances by:

  • Lee Giat, Passage
  • Aaron Shepard, NASA
  • Lisa Pineda, Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition
  • Danielle Broussard, St. Pete Air
  • Walt Driggers, Friends of Albert Whitted Airport

Their presence added a layer of global perspective to the local initiative; and exposure to real-world applications of science and technology.  

Exhilarating Activities: Where Learning Meets Fun

One of the highlights for students was a US Coast Guard helicopter fly-over and presentation by a Coast Guard pilot and rescue swimmer. A giant inflatable planetarium offered a mesmerizing experience of planetary viewing, while the telescope search-and-find competition brought the stars a little closer to Earth. The creativity flowed as students designed postcards destined for space and created International Space Station hydroponic salads.

The finale of the event was St. Pete Air’s generous offering of discovery flights, where the children were able to soar high above St. Petersburg and experience what it’s like to fly a small aircraft.

A Heartfelt Thanks 

Special acknowledgment goes to St Pete Air and Passage, whose commitment to sharing the gift of discovery with local kids made the event possible. Their partnership with FOAWA and Passage was instrumental in bringing this educational extravaganza to life.

As we reflect on the second annual Aerospace Day, it’s clear that the event was more than a success; it was a beacon of hope and inspiration for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and dreamers. Here’s to looking skyward and dreaming big, until next year’s Aerospace Day brings us together again.