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Training the trainers

AOPA Foundation curriculum continues to grow

Teachers from across the country gathered at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, January 9 through 11 to become certified trainers for the AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM Curriculum.

High school educator George Anderson participates in a discovery flight with CFI Dave Hirschman during a three-day workshop for teachers to become certified trainers for the AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM Curriculum in Frederick, Maryland, January 11. Photo by David Tulis.

Since its launch in 2018 (following a full-year test in nearly 30 schools), the high school curriculum has grown quickly: It was deployed in 400 high schools in 43 states during the 2022–2023 school year, with more than 530 teachers helping more than 16,000 students get a running start on careers in aerospace and related fields. The program, supported by AOPA Foundation donors, has earned acclaim from educators, governments, and students, and continues to expand.

During the three-day workshop in Frederick, the educators learned a new training model that they will implement in Washington, Florida, Kentucky, and Oklahoma, expanding the number of classroom educators prepared to make the most of the curriculum provided at no cost to local districts. Teachers toured AOPA headquarters, went on discovery flights, and met AOPA team members to learn about AOPA resources that support high school programs.

Participants were encouraged to share their knowledge and experience with fellow educators in their regions and explore potential collaborations with neighboring schools and districts.

The You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute are funded by charitable donations to the AOPA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. To be a part of the solution, visit www.aopafoundation.org/donate.

Click images to enlarge photos and view captions.

High school educators including Jonas De Leon, Jason McMullen, and Derek Rowe (left to right facing camera) participate in hands-on exercises at the AOPA campus to help teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills related to aviation on January 9. Photo by David Tulis. High school educator George Anderson participates in a discovery flight with CFI Dave Hirschman. Photo by David Tulis. High school educator Jason McMullen participates in a discovery flight with CFI Luz Beattie. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator Alyssa Horpedahl participates in a discovery flight with CFI Mike Filucci. Photo by Rebecca Boone. Sixteen teachers from across the country attended a three-day workshop at the AOPA campus in Frederick, Maryland, January 9 through 11. Here, the teachers pose with AOPA's High School Aviation Initiative staff on January 10. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator Jaime Luque laughs during a lecture. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator Carol Curtis listens intently along with the other teachers during a lecture. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator George Anderson participates in a discovery flight with CFI Dave Hirschman. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator Jason McMullen and CFI Luz Beattie preflight the airplane before a discovery flight. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator Jason McMullen participates in a discovery flight with CFI Luz Beattie, one of several hands-on exercises to help teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills as they relate to aviation on January 11. Photo by David Tulis. High school educator Alyssa Horpedahl participates in a discovery flight with CFI Mike Filucci. Photo by Rebecca Boone. Glenn Ponas, AOPA director of high school outreach, addresses the teachers during a workshop at the AOPA campus to help teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills related to aviation. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educator Thomas Sando asks a question during a lecture. Photo by Rebecca Boone. High school educators participate in hands-on exercises and lectures at the AOPA campus to help teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills related to aviation. Photo by Rebecca Boone.

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: You Can Fly, Aviation Education Programs

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