AOPA Set To Hold High School STEM Symposium


The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation has announced that it is on track to hold its annual High School Aviation STEM Symposium on Nov. 16. Now in its sixth year, the symposium is designed to help educators bring aviation-related science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs to their classrooms. Citing continued challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the organization will be holding the event virtually this year.

“While COVID has impacted many segments of the aviation industry in the short term—it has not diminished the demand for professionals that will be needed across a wide range of careers,” AOPA said. “The AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM Symposium continues to be the only event in the nation that specifically targets aviation and aerospace content for high schools—making it a must-attend event for those interested in bringing an aviation STEM program to their schools.”

This year’s symposium will feature introductory remarks from AOPA President Mark Baker, a discussion on the future of the aviation and aerospace workforce with FAA deputy administrator Bradley Mims and AOPA senior vice president of government affairs and advocacy Jim Coon and an appearance from country singer and pilot Dierks Bentley. Scheduled breakout session topics include airline cadet programs, starting an aviation program, FAA medical certification and high school students and starting a high school flying club. Registration is required to attend.

Further information about the 2021 AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM Symposium can be found at

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Nothing evokes STEM like a 40 year old metal clunky leaded gas burning clunky Lycosaurus powered patched-up trainer painted like tweety bird.

    Looks like Austin Powers just landed in the future… Yea Baby!

    • That’s certainly one way of looking at it. Another is to see it as helping educators introduce teens to applied physics, mathematics, engineering, design, mechanics, and careers in aviation that they might never dream about otherwise. Reader’s choice, I guess.

      • But it does underscore the fact that GA is a non- growth industry in decline. Honest career counselors should be pointing that out to unaware high school students who need to decide their future.

  2. I like the idea of technical education for young people rather than the college tract for everyone but I agree GA is mostly a dead end industry.

    With that said the skills are transferrable to other professions.

    Also I hate to say being a car mechanic is likely doomed for the most part due to the New World Order and the push for EVs.