The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has been awarded an American Airlines $25,000 flight education grant, one of 17 awards the airline made to schools and organizations dedicated to training the new generation of aviation professionals.
The funds will go toward the development of AOPA’s High School STEM Curriculum, said Cindy Hasselbring, senior director of the AOPA High School Initiative.
The science, technology, engineering, and math courses of the AOPA High School STEM Curriculum are being developed for high schools across America as a four-year, first-of-its-kind program leading into two career and technical education pathways: pilot and unmanned aircraft systems (drones). The curriculum being used during the 2018-19 school year in approximately 80 high schools includes the first courses that the pathways share. Additional grade levels will be available in the years to come, Hasselbring said.
American Airlines said the winners of the grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 submitted projects such as enhancing aviation-related curriculum by building flight simulators and aviation labs; adding dozens of computers for new pilot courses; and providing students with flight books, manuals, calculators, maps, and plotters.
“We believe we’re making the pilot profession more visible, accessible and obtainable to a broader range of people than ever before,” said Capt. David Tatum, American Airlines director of Pilot Recruiting and Development.
The AOPA High School Initiative is a component of You Can Fly, AOPA’s multi-faceted program to grow and support the pilot community. Thanks to generous donations to the AOPA Foundation, all courses will be offered to high schools at no charge.
AOPA will hold its fourth annual High School Aviation STEM Symposium Nov. 5 and 6 in Louisville, Kentucky, bringing educators together with leaders in the aviation industry and aviation education to share insights, ideas, and best practices for starting and building aviation STEM programs.