This summer, Bay Area students will be able to attend the National Flight Academy through sponsored scholarships thanks to a large donation from Gulf Power.

The utility company will sponsor The National Flight Academy’s May and June “STEM Saturdays” programs — an introductory science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program designed for children in kindergarten through 6th grade.

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(Laura Bogan/National Flight Academy/Special to The Pulse)

“As supporters of quality education programming in the Greater Pensacola area, Gulf Power is proud to support the National Flight Academy’s STEM Saturday program,” said Verdell Hawkins, Gulf Power Community Relations Manager. “This program exposes area youth to exciting and innovative concepts in science and technology that will ideally ignite individual creativity and a passion for STEM related education/professions and promote lifelong success,” he added.

Located aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, the National Flight Academy is designed to address students’ declining science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills through an immersive, six-day aviation-based program. The program takes place aboard the Ambition, a landlocked virtual aircraft carrier. Students live aboard Ambition for six days and experience “theme park-style thrills” while using advanced technology, flight simulators, and virtual reality missions.The STEM Saturday program allows students to explore the principles of flight and aerodynamics through flying the T-6 Texan II in state-of-the-art simulators as well as constructing and testing paper airplanes and other STEM related themes.

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(Laura Bogan/National Flight Academy/Special to The Pulse)

Like the NFA’s other programs, STEM Saturdays are designed to address the serious concerns of declining science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills in our country. The Academy’s mission is to inspire students to pursue STEM academic and professional paths. Through the STEM Saturday program, the National Flight Academy appeals to younger elementary-aged children.

May’s STEM Saturday topic is “Sonar and Echolocation” and takes place on May 21. June’s STEM Saturday topic is “Jets in Flight” and takes place on June 18. Visit the website to register as space is limited for each session. Registration is $15 per child and lunch is provided. STEM Saturdays are from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and are open to children in Kindergarten through 6th grade.

Learn more at


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