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T.S.T.C "Blossom" day-camp teaches girl power in science and tech careers

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Jul 23 2013 07:13:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 23 2013 07:21:04 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Women can do anything that men can do.

That's what the Texas State Technical College taught teen girls on Tuesday at the Abilene aviation hangar. T.S.T.C. exposed girls 13 and older to S.T.E.M. in their "Blossom" program. S.T.E.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.  

The girls spent most of the day learning the nuts and bolts of building an airplane, specifically stepping into the shoes of the iconic Rosie the Riveter by shooting rivets. During, her time in World War II when women went from housewives to engineers and bringing home an income.   

Abilene High School student Erin Andruss said she is one step closer to achieving her dreams.

"Flying people and traveling," Andruss said. "That's mostly what I want to do. Actually having people's lives in my hands, it's overwhelming, but it would be awesome."

This early hands-on training will give Andruss a leg up in a mostly male dominated industry.  Andruss's aviation instruction, T.S.T.C. Director of Aviation Maintenance Brian Hahn wants girls to know this line of work is open for them.

"They don't get exposed to some of the things that we offer a lot times in technical fields and we want to make sure that they have every opportunity anybody has in our work force," Hahn said.

At the end of the day, the girls got to see a real life pioneer, former blackhawk helicopter pilot Elizabeth McCormick.

"I {started} the first year they really let women in," McCormick said. "I had a lot of discrimination to overcome. I had a lot of obstacles that were in my way and I just really stood firm in my belief that I belonged there and I was meant to do that and just stuck with it."

McCormick said she hope to see more girls break into the aviation industry.

Hahn said women looking to break into the aviation industry to date, have much better opportunities than ever before.

According to glassdoor.com, and Aviation Maintenance Technician at American Airlines can make a starting salary of $60,000 and $62,000 at Delta Airlines.

An aircraft pilot can make a starting salary of $87,000.