Hispanic Heritage & STEM Celebrated at Cradle of Aviation Museum

The Cradle of Aviation is proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15) with several special events that support the museum’s long-term vision to inspire and serve the growing Long Island Latinx Community with cultural, educational and family-oriented programs focused on aerospace, technology, and Latinx STEM leaders.

HISPANIC HERITAGE DAY Sat, 10/5; 12-4pm Hispanic Heritage Day: Celebrando Nuestras Raices Celebrate Hispanic heritage with a day full of music, art and family activities such as face painting, making bookmarks, gliders and other activities. Learn about local community service organizations. The activities are Free with Museum Admission ($16 Adults; $14 Child/Senior) The Planetarium Show is an Add-On cost ($10 Adults; Child/Senior $9) or can be part of a Combo Ticket ($21 Adults; $19 Child/Senior).

HISPANIC HERITAGE SPEAKER Thurs, 10/10; 10-11 am 12-1 pm (Bilingual) Jet Blue Airline Pilot Camila Turrieta will speak with our local partner schools and ENL (English as a New Language) students about her experience as a pilot and the obstacles she overcame to pursue her dreams.   

Mrs. Turrieta, a native of Chile, immigrated to the United States at seven years old with her family. In fact, it was Turrieta’s first flight to the US, that sparked her interest and dreams of becoming a pilot.  Not knowing anyone in the US and unable to speak English, Turrieta had to overcome many obstacles including being bullied by classmates and having to face numerous rejections for immigration applications for green card status. But her struggles made her stronger. Turrieta pursued her undergraduate studies at Vaughn College, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Aircraft operations.  Camila also holds a Master’s Degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with specializations in Aircraft Accident Investigation and Human Factors. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree focusing on Higher Education and Adult Learning from Walden University. 

Today, Turrieta is actively involved in a variety of aviation organizations such as Women in Aviation, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), and the Latino Pilot Association.  Her mission in these organizations is to mentor the future leaders of aviation industry.  Besides mentoring Turrieta also gives back to her community.  She is a spokesperson for organ donations throughout the United States; she is raising the awareness on the importance of organ donation.  Camila’s efforts in her community and volunteerism have been recognized nationally, and she has been two-time recipient of the President’s Call to service.

“If a seven-year-old little girl from Chile came to the United States without speaking a word of English accomplished her lifelong dream of becoming a JetBlue Pilot, then there is nothing that can stop you from achieving yours. All you need is a dream, passion, and perseverance to achieve greatness in the STEM field.” – Camila Turrieta 

  • The Hispanic population in the US is around 59 million people & the largest ethnic or race minority in the US*
  • Hispanics are underrepresented in undergraduate and graduate STEM programs and are not sufficiently exposed to STEM subjects at the K-12 Levels.** 
  • While Hispanics make up 16% of the U.S. workforce, they’re only 7% of STEM workers. ***
  • Many U.S. adults believe that girls, blacks, & Hispanics lack encouragement to pursue STEM from a young age & believe there are not enough black & Hispanic role models in STEM ***

The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center is home to over 75 planes and spacecraft representing over 100 years of aviation history and Long Island’s only Giant Screen Dome Theater.  Currently, the museum is celebrating  “Countdown to Apollo at 50” sponsored by the Robert D.L. Gardiner Foundation, showcasing Long Island and Grumman’s significant role in the Apollo program. The Museum was recently recognized and listed on New York State’s National Register of Historic Places as a significant part of American history. The museum is located on Museum Row, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., in East Garden City.  For more information call (516) 572-4111 or visit www.cradleofaviation.org


  • *htps://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2018/hispanic-heritage-month.html
  • **http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/31/use-of-spanish-declines-among-latinos-in-major-u-s-metros/
  • ***https://www.univision.com/univision-news/united-states/report-women-black-and-hispanic-workers-still-underrepresented-in-stem-workforce