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'Leaders Take Flight' Workshop is This Weekend

June 23, 2011

Twelve teachers from New Jersey and Pennsylvania will fly left seat in GA airplanes on June 24 and 25 in a grass-roots effort to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), including aviation careers.

"These Take-Flight® workshops use airplanes as a learning environment," said Linda Castner, the central New Jersey director for the program. "The benefit of having teachers who can stand in front of a class and explain fluid dynamics with a model airplane wing can't be overstated."

This weekend's workshop is funded in part by a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is the first of two such workshops this summer at Alexandria Field (N85) in Pittstown, NJ. An Auburn University CFI will help instruct the teachers.

The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts call for commercial pilot employment growth of 19 percent through 2018. Some business aviation forecasts call for the addition of about 1,500 new pilots a year as the business aircraft market rebounds from the 2007-2010 recession.

All teachers in this weekend's workshop will be female, an effort to increase the number of women in aviation. Currently, about 6.7 percent of all active pilots are female, compared to 5.6 percent in 2001. The second workshop, in August, will be for high school girls.

"Can you imagine a new generation of enthusiastic, highly-motivated kids who got excited about science, technology, engineering and math through GA activities?" asked Castner. "It could reshape our country, and the world."

Learn more about Leaders Take Flight®.