ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — Airlines need pilots. Fifth and sixth graders got a head start this week at SouthernTech's four-day Aviation Camp

Thirty students learned about the industry, and then on Friday came the highlight: Discovery flights.

"It was awesome!" said camper Cannon Gay. "I can't even talk, because it was breathtaking, and everything looks so tiny!"

"At first, I was a little bit nervous," admitted fellow camper Adlyn Krimmer. "But when I went off, it was really fun, and I got to see everything. It was really pretty!"

SouthernTech partnered with several organizations, including the Sooner Flight Academy, to give students a hands-on learning experience.

Campers created model rockets, space stations, and participated in other activities. To end the week, students went to the Ardmore Airpark to take off with Young Eagles pilots.

Aviation Camp students pose for a photo at Ardmore Airpark.

"A lot of kids never get the chance — especially riding airliners — but riding in a smaller plane where they can see out and feel it and hear the aircraft, it's a pleasure to get to share that," said Discovery Flights coordinator Bill Holland. "For some, it changes their life forever. Some go on to pursue careers in aviation or want to have it for their hobby."

This is the first year SouthernTech hosted an exploration camp, and they plan to offer similar learning experiences in the future.

"Whether it's building interest in aviation or engineering, health care, it's something we are striving to do at Southern," said SouthernTech superintendent Eric Ward.

Now several of the students have a new career in mind.

"It felt like a rush," said Ajani Reid. "One day, I might want to be a pilot."