Dozens of central Iowa girls will be climbing into the cockpits of airplanes and helicopters today as part of Girls in Aviation Day.

Sara Arnold, a pilot and the president of the Heartland Chapter of Women in Aviation, says they’re targeting girls between the ages of eight and 16, but everyone is welcome to visit and learn more about the industry.

Arnold says, “It’s just getting the word out about different aspects of aviation and getting girls excited about a possible career or even just something fun to do on the side.”

Arnold is the airport operations supervisor at the Des Moines International Airport, and while she holds a pilot’s license, she says she just flies for her own enjoyment, not as a profession.

“One of my goals is that a lot of people think ‘aviation’ and they only think of pilots and only think of flying,” Arnold says, “but there are so many different aspects of aviation that are supporting roles to those.”

Careers in aviation are wide-ranging and also include: engineers, astronauts, air traffic controllers, mechanics and the TSA.

The event runs from 9 AM to 3 PM at the Aviation Technology Academy School in Des Moines.