AOPA Aviation Curriculum Free To Teachers

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Image: AOPA

Image: AOPA

AOPA has developed a curriculum for ninth-grade students that uses aviation to teach science, technology, engineering and math, and is offering it free to schoolteachers. Teachers will be introduced to the program through a professional development workshop offered June 26 to 28, which can be attended at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, or taken online. The course has been tested with more than 700 students in nearly 30 schools over the last year, AOPA says. The program includes lesson plans, presentations, assignments, student activities and other learning experiences. The deadline for applying to use the aviation STEM curriculum during the 2018-19 school year is April 19.

The ninth-grade curriculum is the first in a four-year program that will comprise three career and technical education pathways — pilot, aerospace engineering and drones. The 10th-grade program will be available next year, and the 11th- and 12th-grade programs will follow in the next two years. Schools can decide to select individual courses to use as stand-alone electives, or implement one or more complete pathways. “This is a major step in our work to help young people learn more about the engaging and well-paying careers in aviation, and it gives schools the tools they need to teach our children skills that will last for a lifetime,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. The program is funded by the AOPA Foundation.

Comments (6)

"The ninth-grade curriculum is the first in a four-year program"

A FOUR YEAR program? I got my pilots certificate on my own 4 months while in High School. An no, there ain't no high paying careers in aviation because I did that. I did that because I had to fly. Subsidizing people is bass ackward and a waste.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | March 9, 2018 9:37 PM    Report this comment

A lobbying organization like AOPA has no business insinuating itself into our public education system.

Posted by: kim hunter | March 9, 2018 10:19 PM    Report this comment

I have no problem with the basic idea of using aviation based subject material as the 'hook' to foster STEM aviation. Given the downward trend of people entering all avenues of aviation, something has to be done. The FAA itself sure as heck isn't doing it, as I see it.

The Federal Aviation Act of 1958, Sec. 305, directs the FAA Administrator to "encourage and foster the development of civil aeronautics and air commerce in the United States and abroad." I've been in aviation for 50 years and all I see is a rabid preoccupation with safety and control ... to the exclusion of the tenets of Sec. 305. Think about it ... when is the last time you saw an FAA employee trying to do anything but pushing 'their' safety agenda? When is the last time you saw an FAA employee doing anything but 'controlling' everything in sight with Regulations written and interpreted by lawyers? One paragraph in a massive document defining their establishment and purpose is all there is to promulgate aviation ... and I've even seen interpretive writings where it's been said that they've been relieved of that duty.

I took the time to read the proposed curriculum, Frankly, the requirements seem onerous to me ... even requiring educators to go to Frederick, MD for training ... and to pay for it. And the timeline to apply is just over a month for the 2018-19 school year. I doubt VERY seriously if many schools will be chomping at the bit trying to accommodate all of the requirements in that short period of time. In fact, I'll be surprised if more than a few do so.

On the one hand, I take exception to the constant barrage of requests for donation at every turn with AOPA. On the other, I laud their proactive efforts to do something ... that which the FAA ought to be doing per Sec. 305 of the "Act." Their mission and vision statements direct that they at least try.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | March 10, 2018 2:56 AM    Report this comment

The student and medical and certificates and First Solo age limits should be change 14 years of age.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | March 11, 2018 10:02 AM    Report this comment

The student and medical certificates and First Solo age limits should be change 14 years of age.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | March 11, 2018 10:06 AM    Report this comment

A few summers ago, I taught two sections of an "Aviation Careers" course, at a local community college. One unit was exclusively for high school students; the other for middle schoolers.
I was stunned by both the lack of general knowledge and the lack of interest displayed by 95% of the enrollees. (It was an elective course, BTW.) "Suck, squeeze, burn, and blow?" Good only for a few double-entendre laughs. Car engines? Fugetaboutit. Spinning wrenches? Seriously? They DID like the twice-a-week field trips, though. I'll watch AOPA's laudable initiative with keen interest.

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | March 13, 2018 12:08 PM    Report this comment

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