NBAA2013 News Bureau

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Teachers Learn How to Bring Aviation Into Their Classrooms

October 24, 2013

An enthusiastic group of teachers learned what aviation resources are available to inspire their students to embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) during NBAA's Teacher's Day workshop, which was held on Oct. 24 at NBAA's Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2013).

The session, which was presented by the non-profit aviation education organization Build A Plane and sponsored by Honeywell Aerospace, was part of the Association's Careers in Business Aviation Day.

The middle and high school teachers heard presentations from numerous industry organizations that can offer free curriculum and other educational support materials to expose students to all aspects of aviation.

Shoshana Leon, Honeywell Aerospace's senior community relations manager, announced that the company was accepting applications for middle school math and science teachers to attend, free of charge, the 2014 Honeywell Educators @ Space Academy, a five-day program held each June at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Every year, 200 teachers learn new teaching practices in STEM education by participating in a series of astronaut-style exercise and simulations, building and testing their own rockets, meeting veteran astronauts and more. Learn more about the space academy.

Build a Plane Chairman Lyn Freeman and Executive Director Katrina Bradshaw explained to attendees how their organization solicits airplane donations and then Build A Plane re-gifts the donated aircraft to a school. Aircraft donors are given tax receipts for their charitable contribution, and Build A Plane gives the aircraft to schools for construction or restoration, thus providing real-world opportunities for young people to learn STEM. Learn more about Build A Plane.

Larry Rivers, the leader of a Build A Plane project in Talkeetna, AK, spoke about the life-changing nature of his project. "Once the kids started working on a plane, it had a tremendous impact on their lives," he said. Working on restoring a damaged airplane helped the Talkeetna kids, ages 9 to 21, develop a can-do attitude and demonstrated that "children can do great things if allowed."

Teacher's Day workshop attendees learned that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association offers several resources for secondary school teachers, most notably its Pilots and Teachers Handbook (PATH), which relates math, science, physics, history and technology to the basics of general aviation. Eleven easy-to-follow modules highlight common questions people often ask about general aviation, and they tie GA activities to secondary school topics. Teacher and student worksheets are provided. Learn more about PATH.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has numerous opportunities available for students interested in aviation, including the Young Eagles program, Air Academy summer camp, Women Soar program and College Park, an interactive zone at EAA's annual Air Venture where students and college representatives can meet. Learn more about EAA's programs.

FAA is involved in numerous initiatives and industry partnerships to promote aviation education. The agency's website offers resources for both students and educators, and many FAA employees are willing to speak to students about aviation careers. Learn more about FAA's initiatives.

Aviation Explorers, a program affiliated with the Boy Scouts' Learning for Life Corp., combines classroom training with flying lessons so that kids can experience firsthand what it's like to be a pilot, aircraft maintenance technician, flight engineer or air traffic controller. Learn more about Aviation Explorers.

Finally, for those interested in designing, building and flying their own virtual airplane, Fly to Learn offers software to do so. Learn more about Learn to Fly.