Join us on February 24, 2023, to Experience Northland Aerospace in Thief River Falls, Minnesota!

Brought to you by Northland Community and Technical College and the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT), this event is open to CTE students (grades 7-12) and teachers, and offers a variety of 50-minute hands-on learning activities, directly related to Northland Aerospace programs. Schools/students can choose to attend one session or make it a day-trip and attend all of the sessions throughout the day. All sessions are 100% cost-free!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the NCAT/Northland team directly at

Workshop A - Electronics Concepts with Spintronics
Join us and Upper Story for the opportunity to understand electronics and computing in a whole new way. Rather than tell you what's happening in a circuit, let us show you with Spintronics. Feel the resistance, feel the pull of voltage, and watch the current flow. With Turing Tumble, build a marble-powered computer. Physically create logic gates, solve puzzles and figure out how computers work. These hands-on activities are fun and easy and are an excellent way to learn engineering concepts!

Workshop B - Fundamentals of Composites (2-Hour)
Advanced composites are becoming more and more common in a wide variety of industries these days. Once found primarily on military and commercial aircraft, materials like carbon fiber, Kevlar, and glass fiber can now be found on unmanned aerial systems, wind turbine blades, automobiles, trains, and a host of other products we see and use every day. Dr. Greg Mellema, A&P/I.A. of Abaris Training in Reno, NV will conduct a 2-hour hands-on course designed to impart basic knowledge of composites materials and held students understand some of the industrial applications of these amazingly strong and lightweight materials. This workshop includes a lab activity - assembly of a composite part that students will get to take home.

Workshop C - Design an Aircraft with Flite Test
Learn the basics of what it takes to build and successfully fly an aircraft. Build a gentle flying pusher that is graceful and easy to control. Discover how key features of the aircraft can be changed and reconfigured to achieve different flight experiences from beginner to advanced. Of course, we can't build an aircraft without testing its function. Upon completion of your build, take your aircraft to the Swenson Hangar to test its flight!

Workshop D - A Day in the Life of an Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT)
Curious what an AMT does on a typical day? Join us to see for yourself! Learn about jobs, and current salaries in our area and around the United States. Learn what the expectations are of students in the Northland AMT program and in the workforce. This session will wrap up with a Q&A and an overview of how a turbine engine works, including an explanation of the differences between a turbine and reciprocating aircraft engine.

Workshop E - Discover Northland Aerospace I - Think Autonomous
Do you think you have what it takes to be a technician for autonomous systems? We do! Dive into the world of virtual reality and fly a racing drone. Take control of a land robot. Test your flight skills by flying a drone through the Aerial Drone Competition course. Learn how all these activities directly tie to programs that Northland Aerospace has to offer.

Workshop F - Discover Northland Aerospace II - Swenson Hangar
Come on in and discover what Northland Aerospace campus has to offer. Our 86,000 square foot facility features a state-of-the-art hangar, housing over 20 aircraft including a DC-9 that was owned and donated by the Detroit Pistons NBA team! Hope inside the cockpit of an aircraft, become an AMT student through a hands-on riveting activity, and explore the high-tech side of transportation careers in Minnesota Transportation Center of Excellence's Career Exploration Trailer.

Experience Northland Aerospace workshops will kick-off at 9:00AM and run on the top of each hour until 3:00PM. We ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the activity start-time to allow enough time for check-in.

Example schedule for a full-day of activities:
8:00 - 9:00   Students arrive/Check-In
9:00 - 9:50   Design an Aircraft with Flite Test
10:00 - 10:50  Electronics Concepts with Spintronics
11:00 - 11:50   Discover Northland Aerospace I - Think Autonomous
12:00 - 12:50   Lunch (meal provided)
1:00 - 2:50   Fundamentals of Composites (2-hour workshop)

This schedule shows an example of a school/student who participates in a full-day of workshops. Participation in all workshops is not required. If your school/student can only participate in one workshop throughout the day, simply register for that hour/workshop only.

We ask that if you plan to bring a group of students, each student should be registered for a workshop during each 50-minute block during the time they are present. We want to ensure all students that attend, are also participating in the workshops.

For individual student registrations, complete the Online Student Registration Form.

If you are a teacher that is bringing a large group of students, you can use the Online Student Registration Form (link above) OR you may use the Experience Northland Aerospace Class Registration Form and email it to

Each 50-minute workshop has a maximum capacity of 20 students.
Registration closes on February 3, 2023.

Northland Aerospace
13892 Airport Drive
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Park in the East Parking Lot (next to the highway), and use the East Entrance.

In case you didn't know - Northland Community and Technical College has multiple locations! This event is NOT at the main Thief River Falls campus off Highway One. Northland Aerospace is located next to the Thief River Falls Regional Airport.

If you need accommodations to attend this event, please contact us by February 17, 2023.

Sara Johnson
Director | Student Success Center
(218) 683-8560

Chris Fossum
Access Specialist | Student Success Center
(218) 683-8564

Did you know?

Experience Northland Aerospace derives from a large-scale Experience STEAM event that was hosted by the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) and Northland Community and Technical College at Mall of America in August 2022. This was an event set to inspire social and economic mobility enabled by access to opportunities inspiring students to consider emerging technology and technician career fields. The NCAT and Northland team took that vision and have replicated it to serve our own community.
About Experience STEAM at Mall of America
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