The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) You Can Fly High School Aviation Initiative is working to create aviation-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum for high schools across the country.

Educators who will field test the curriculum this fall attended a teachers’ workshop held at AOPA’s Frederick, Maryland headquarters June 26 through 28.

The curriculum that was introduced at the workshop is part of a first-of-its-kind program to offer students comprehensive, grade-appropriate, four-year aviation study options. Approximately 30 schools will test the ninth-grade curriculum in the coming school year, with teachers in test schools receiving continuing professional development throughout the year.

“The initial courses will be available for any high school to implement in fall 2018,” said Cindy Hasselbring, senior director of the AOPA You Can Fly program’s High School Initiative.

Three career and technical education pathways are being developed, putting students on track to become pilots, work with unmanned aircraft systems (drones), or work in aerospace engineering. Schools can decide to implement one or more of the complete pathways, or choose among the courses. The curriculum, funded by donors to the AOPA Foundation, will be made available free to schools.