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You Can Fly: Ensuring GA’s future

Aviation STEM education belongs in every high school

By Glenn Ponas

You can inspire tomorrow’s pilots by helping bring aviation STEM education to a high school near you.

Briefing August 2021

The AOPA Foundation’s High School Aviation STEM curriculum, part of the You Can Fly High School Initiative, is available free to public, private, parochial, and charter high schools and career and technical centers across the United States. This program, which is available for grades nine through 12, prepares students to take the FAA private pilot or remote pilot knowledge tests and gives students the skills and experience they need to pursue careers as pilots, aerospace engineers, and in other aviation-related science, technology, engineering, and math professions. 

In the past school year, the AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM curriculum was used by more than 250 teachers at 200 high schools to teach and inspire 8,000 high school students in 36 states. The upcoming 2021-2022 school year will see continued growth in the number and diversity of the students served by the curriculum.

The curriculum contains everything teachers need, including lesson plans, teacher presentations, activities, and assessments. It’s aligned to national education standards and FAA airman certification standards and meets rigorous STEM and career and technical education (CTE) state standards. Teachers get free initial video-based professional development, ongoing support, and access to AOPA Air Safety Institute resources. Through the AOPA AV8Rs program, students ages 13 through 17 can sign up for free AOPA student memberships. 

We need your help to connect more high school students to meaningful, high-quality aviation education. If you know any high school teachers, administrators, counselors, or other education and government leaders in your community, please share the AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM curriculum with them. Applications to use the curriculum will be accepted beginning on November 14, 2021.

The You Can Fly High School Initiative is funded by donations to the AOPA Foundation. Glenn Ponas is director of the You Can Fly High School Initiative.

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