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OU amid coronavirus: Sooner Flight Academy to move youth summer camps online

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OU’s Sooner Flight Academy announced Tuesday it will be hosting virtual summer camps in response to the cancellation of traditional in-person camps due to COVID-19.

The virtual summer camps will be the first of its kind offered by the academy, according to a press release. Camps allow children ages 6–18 to participate in virtual flight simulations, physics exercises, STEM activities and demonstrations from experts from around the world.

Sooner Flight Academy Director Dawn Machalinski said in the release students will experience two sessions of Zoom meetings, with time offered between meetings for “self-directed activities” with included toys, kits and supplies.

According to the release, each five-day camp will use content designed for campers’ different learning levels.

Camps will be in session Monday through Friday beginning June 1 and finishing at the end of July.

According to the release, the academy is offering a two-hour virtual field trip May 15 to allow interested campers and parents to preview the program. The academy’s “virtual field trip” will be available on the academy’s website

“The virtual field trip will lead children on a pre-flight check of one of OU’s own Piper Warrior III airplanes,” Machalinski said in the release. “We will explore the science of the Four Forces of Flight, Bernoulli’s Principle and learn about all the parts of a plane using toys and fun physics. You’ll also get to meet some of (the Sooner Flight Academy’s) navigators, who will lead the children into the fun world of aviation science throughout the virtual summer camps.”

The cost to attend the virtual camp ranges from $250 to $325 based on the age of the camper. According to the release, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission granted the academy $46,000 for partial scholarships, which are available for up to 250 eligible campers. 

The deadline to apply for a scholarship is May 25.

More information and camp registration can be found on the academy’s camp website.

Beth Wallis is a senior journalism major and political science minor, and news managing editor for The Daily. Previously, she worked as a junior news reporter covering university research.

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