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UND Aerospace Community Day to offer prizes, experiments and flight simulators

The event is open to all ages, and is meant to give a glimpse into what goes on inside the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.

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With a little help, a child operates a flight simulator at UND's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences.
Contributed / UND photo

GRAND FORKS — Members of the public will have the chance to experience flight simulators and more at UND’s Aerospace Community Day, set for Saturday, April 2.

The event is open to all ages, and is meant to give a glimpse into what goes on inside the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. Attendees can tour several buildings on campus and check out what it is like to operate a flight simulator on a day the college is billing as “full of fun and prizes.”

Beth Bjerke, associate dean of UND Aerospace, likened the day of experiences to a “pop-up science museum.”

“From our space to our aviation to our meteorology department, all of those will be on display with hands-on activities,” said Bjerke.

Doors to the free event open at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the college’s Aerospace building, and at UND Flight Operations at Grand Forks International Airport. The event will run until 3 p.m. Parking for the event is free, and is located at UND Aerospace parking lots off of University Avenue on the west end of campus.

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Along with simulators for both air and space, people can conduct different weather-related experiments, tour Odegard, Clifford, Ryan and Robin Halls and watch space-themed movies in the atmospherium — a domed theater used by students during their studies. Multiple aircraft will also be on display. New this year will be an aerospace-themed Lego attraction.

This will be the fourth installment of the annual event. It wasn’t held last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bjerke said Aerospace Community Day has drawn thousands of visitors since the event was first held in 2018. The family-friendly event also offers a way for the college to introduce science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related careers to attendees.

“It's our one day to be able to give back to the community,” Bjerke said.

Children attending Aerospace Community Day must be accompanied by an adult and those who visit UND Flight Operations must wear a mask, in accordance with U.S. Transportation Security Administration guidelines.

Adam Kurtz is the community editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He covers higher education and other topics in Grand Forks County and the city.

Kurtz joined the Herald in July 2019. He covered business and county government topics before covering higher education and some military topics.

Tips and story ideas are welcome. Get in touch with him at akurtz@gfherald.com, or DM at @ByAdamKurtz.

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