Festival welcomes FLITE

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An attendee at Confluence 2022 gets an up-close look at a drone. Courtesy photo.

Confluence festival, now in its third year, announced that this year’s festival will include a new focus on aviation. Kids of all ages will be able to explore aircraft construction, flight simulators, remote-controlled drones, and build models of fixed-wing planes at the two-day festival that takes place at Rosa Parks Circle Sept. 22 and 23.

Confluence Festival features hands-on activities for kids. Courtesy photo.

The new aeronautics program, designed to engage the next generation of curious thinkers, is being underwritten by Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

“We’re excited to support the new aviation initiative at Confluence,” said Alex Peric, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Ford International Airport. “Our FLITE program facilitates the design and development of next generation of aviation technologies.”

FLITE is the “Ford Launchpad for Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship,” which – in partnership with the Michigan Economic corporation and Southwest Airlines – provides grants and pilot-testing opportunities to companies focused on new products, services and solutions related to the airport setting.

“The opportunity to share the work we’re doing, along with the work of others across the region, will hopefully inspire students and introduce them to the high-growth employment fields that exist in the aviation industry,” Peric said.

Other regional and local leaders in aeronautics, including Air Zoo, Plainfield Aviation & STEM Academy, and West Michigan Aviation Academy, are partnering in the Future Innovators Zone, an aspect of the multifaceted festival that showcases the connections between art, music, science, and technology.

“Aviation is a perfect example of the crossover innovation we celebrate at Confluence,” said Brian Cohen, Executive Director of the festival. “It is literally design meets science meets tech, so it makes sense for us to have a program area dedicated to various aspects of flight.”

For more details, and a complete list of sponsors of this year’s Confluence Festival visit, confluencefest.com.

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