AOPA just wrapped up its You Can Fly High School Aviation STEM Symposium in Denver, Colorado, this week at the United Airlines Flight Training Center, and by all accounts the event was a big success. The gathering was host to more than 350 educators from across the country. During the two days of the event they attended a dozen breakout sessions, as well as special events, including a trip to the United Airlines sim center in Denver—we’ve been there. It’s really cool.
Subscribe today to Plane & Pilot magazine for industry news, reviews and much more delivered straight to you!
The idea behind the initiative, which kicked off in 2015, is to preach the gospel of aviation education as an amazing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) pathway to critical STEM skills and knowledge, one that not only is really fun for young people to participate in but one that has great jobs at the other end of the education arc. But it’s way more than that too. AOPA provides educators at more than 160 school in 34 states a solid aviation curriculum for STEM studies. With a tremendous amount of work already done for them, teachers can jump start their aviation program or supercharge an existing one.
As part of the curriculum, AOPA has educators share raw data (no student identifying info at all) about the success of the program, including graduation rates and pilot licenses earned, so it can tailor the curriculum to suit the needs of teachers and learners even better.
AOPA President Mark Baker told the educators gathered at the STEM conference “You are changing young people’s lives. I guarantee it.”
Next year’s STEM gathering is in Orlando, Florida, November 9-10. To learn more, visit AOPA.org.