News Releases

Duke Energy's Summer Institute students go off into the "wild blue yonder"

June 16, 2016

Youngsters enrolled in Duke Energy’s Summer Institute at Lander University took to the skies on June 15 as part of the physics class taught by Dr. David Slimmer, dean of Lander’s College of Science and Mathematics.

Forces, gravity and air pressure are among the topics that Slimmer was teaching and, to give them a practical demonstration of those concepts, he arranged with three pilots and managers of Greenwood Airport to take 17 students on 15-20 minute flights. Pilot Evan Amaya said they flew at altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 2,500 feet, giving their young passengers a bird’s-eye view of the county

The other two pilots were Bob Butler and Richard Kaczmarek, who said flying kids is one of his favorite activities.

Slimmer said, “It’s a good learning experience for the students because the pilots talk to them about the aircraft and various aspects of flying.” He added that he is grateful to the pilots for donating their time and to the airport for offering the use of its facilities at no charge.

After each plane touched down, disembarking students expressed reactions ranging from “very good” to “cool” to “awesome.” Five of the 17 said it was the first time they had flown. Hanna Eppley, who will enter the sixth grade at Brewer Middle School this fall said, “I want to be a pilot when I grow up.”

Slimmer’s weeklong physics class is one of five programs in Duke Energy’s Summer Institute hosted by Lander. Each program is designed for students in grades five through 12.

Duke Campers fly-Slimmer-resize

Dr. David Slimmer of Lander University, back to camera, assists students disembark from a plane at Greenwood Airport, one of three aircraft that took 17 students on flights recently as part of Duke Energy’s Summer Institute at Lander.