Ridgefield resident Jaquelyn Mantione recently attended Aviation Challenge Mach III at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, home of Space Camp, Space Camp Robotics, Aviation Challenge, U.S. Cyber Camp and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Official Visitor Center.

The week-long educational program promotes science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while training students and with hands-on activities and missions based on teamwork, leadership and problem solving.

This program is specifically designed for students who have an interest in military aviation and the mechanics of flight. Students learn principles of aviation and put their knowledge to the test in a variety of flight simulators.

Taking the role of fighter pilots, Jaquelyn and her team — Team Argonauts — ran control systems and scenario-based missions as well as trained in water and land survival.

At the end of the week, Jaquelyn and crew returned in time to graduate with honors.

Aviation Challenge opened in 1990 in Huntsville, Alabama, and uses fighter pilot training techniques to engage trainees in real-world applications of STEM subjects. Students sleep in quarters designed to resemble military bays.

Interested in training like a fighter pilot? Visit www.spacecamp.com/aviation or call 1-800-637-7223.