VALDOSTA -- The Air Force Association has awarded a $250 grant to Master Sgt. Bruce Minnick and the Lowndes High Junior ROTC to help pay for a new flight simulation lab on campus.

The Aerospace Education Foundation Grant will help the Air Force JROTC purchase new flight simulation software and accessories featured in the new facility that will open next fall, according to Lt. Col. Dean Failor, senior aerospace science instructor for JROTC.

"This grant will help tremendously. Kids need to be able to visualize and use first-hand experience, and this gives them that opportunity," said Minnick, aerospace science instructor.

The new facility will offer basic flight instruction through simulation and stress an understanding of the physics of flight through a class titled "The Science of Flight." Students enrolling in the flight instruction classes should be capable of flying small Cessna aircraft, Minnick said. The flight simulation laboratory will also allow the JROTC program to move out of portable classrooms and into the main building at Lowndes High.

The JROTC also plans to use the grant money to help pay for the unit's upcoming trip to the Florida Air National Guard. According to Failor, the extra money will help the unit provide educational opportunities that would not otherwise be possible, such as trips to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Aviation Museum in Warner Robbins.

The Lowndes High School Air Force JROTC is a service and citizenship organization that provides high school students with the opportunity to learn about flight and life in the Air Force. Students in the program are not obligated to serve in the U.S. military after graduation, but the Air Force offers advanced rank and pay scales for those students who enlist in the Air Force after serving the JROTC.

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