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To celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we sat down with Jenna Woody. Jenna has participated in the CR Smith Museum’s Aviation STEM Summer Camp since 2015. She talks about her passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and shares advice for girls who want to explore the world of STEM.

What grade are you in?

I’m in the 9th grade, a freshman at Frontier STEM Academy in Mansfield, Texas.

What sparked your interest in STEM?

I really liked math and science, so I started going to Jerry Knight STEM Academy, a middle school in Mansfield. That really increased my interest in STEM.

What are you most curious about within STEM?

I’m interested in a lot of things, but aviation fascinates me. My family travels a lot, so I grew up asking the question: “How do planes fly?” and have the dream of becoming a pilot.

Tell us about your time at CR Smith Museum’s Aviation STEM Summer Camp

I’ve been going to camp for six years. I’ve learned about the entire aviation industry at camp, from ground crews to pilots. We always get to go on cool trips to the airport and see things that you’d never get to see or learn about as a traveler.

I’ve seen where pilots and flight attendants do their training, how cargo sorts luggage – it’s so cool to see. You get to get up close and personal. They also bring in speakers and they all have great tips and tricks about how to pursue a career in aviation.

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of planes, camp is really cool and one of the best opportunities. You get to learn new things and meet new people.

What’s one of the most memorable things you’ve learned at camp?

One of the things that I’ve learned is how a plane works and flies. Because I want to be a pilot, the basics of lift, drag, and weight stay with me. It’s something I’ve always wanted to know more about.

What advice would you share on this International Day of Women and Girls in Science?

Don’t give up – it’s a challenging field, and difficult. STEM isn’t something that anyone wakes up and just starts doing. But don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do because you’re young or a woman. Set your mind to it and you can do it!

2022 Aviation STEM Summer Camp

Visit our education page for more information about the 2022 Aviation STEM Summer Camp hosted at the American Airlines CR Smith Museum. Registration opens in March.