Springs’ Flabob Airport Preparatory Academy (FAPA) will implement the new Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations (AOPA) high school aviation science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum in the 2018-2019 school year, reported FAPA’s principal, Robin Davis.
The curriculum will offer students aviation study options aligned with math and science standards used in many states nationwide, providing students the skills they need to learn about aviation-related career and educational opportunities.
AOPA is developing these courses as part of three career and technical education (CTE) pathways: pilot, unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and aerospace engineering. Each year, AOPA will release subsequent courses until all four high school grade levels of the curriculum are complete. In addition to implementing the ninth-grade curriculum in the 2018 – 2019 school year, 25 schools will also be testing the tenth-grade curriculum. The curriculum will be provided to schools at no cost; FAPA was one of only five California schools approved to use the curriculum. Donors to the AOPA Foundation fund development and distribution of the curriculum, as well as other initiatives of the You Can Fly program.
Before implementing the curriculum, teachers are required to participate in a three-day professional development workshop at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland to gain a deeper understanding of the materials, learn about available resources and network with other aviation educators. Math teacher Elyse Snyder will attend the training and teach the course; Shawna Lewis will also attend and serve as an additional teacher.
It’s an exciting time to add the new curriculum, believes Dr. Davis, especially since there is a growing demand for workers to fill aviation industry jobs. According to a 2017 Boeing study, 637,000 commercial aircraft pilots, 648,000 technicians, and 839,000 cabin crew members will be needed globally within the next 20 years (https://www.boeing.com/commercial/market/pilot-technician-outlook/).