California, Georgia Teachers Win SAFE 2014 Aviation Education Grants


Two classroom teachers, Sonya Williams and Joseph Perrotta, last week were named recipients of the 2014 K-12 Classroom Teacher Grant Awards from the Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE). The $250.00 grants to encourage aviation and aerospace lesson plans and aviation student projects in classrooms have been awarded by SAFE since 2013. The awards have helped stimulate teacher interest nationally in aviation-related education as part of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies. Sonya Williams, a fourth grade teacher at the 107th Street STEM Magnet School in Los Angeles, California won SAFE’s award in the Kindergarten through Grade 7 category. Joseph Perrotta, a physics teacher at Starr’s Mill High School in Peachtree City, Georgia, won in the Grade 8-12 category. Ms. Williams plans to develop an interactive aerodynamics unit for her elementary students on the four forces of flight: lift, weight, thrust, drag. In her proposal, she noted that “this grant money (will) provide much needed exposure for my students as they strive to compete with students from more affluent circumstances.” Mr. Perrotta will use his SAFE grant for equipment necessary for his advanced placement 12th grade physics students to study Newton’s Laws of Motion. He plans to use the grant to purchase four or five remote controlled helicopters as part of a laboratory experiment to study Newton’s three laws including torque and angular momentum. Perrotta is an FAA Certificated Flight Instructor and faculty sponsor for his high school’s aviation club. Grant proposals were evaluated by seven SAFE aviation educators based on uniqueness of the project, lasting effect of the learning outcomes and feasibility of the project for other aviation educators. SAFE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting aviation education at all levels of learning. SAFE is a recognized leader in pilot training reform, safety education, and the mentoring of aviation educators. For information on free resource materials and membership, go to