In partnership with experienced educators, curriculum developers, and aviation experts, AOPA is developing aviation STEM curriculum for high schools across America. The program will be the first of its kind, offering students comprehensive four-year aviation study options that are aligned to rigorous math and science standards used in many states nationwide.
The curriculum will incorporate grade-appropriate learning, building on the skills and knowledge developed in each grade level. The development of three career and technical education pathways – pilot, unmanned aircraft systems (drones), and aerospace engineering – is currently underway. Each pathway will be four years in length and schools can decide to implement one or more complete pathways or select courses of their choice. The pathways, including specific courses, are organized as follows:
Each course will include all teaching materials, including lesson plans, student activities, presentations, student assessments, and more. Thanks to generous donations to the AOPA Foundation, all courses will be offered to high schools at no charge.
The ninth-grade courses will be field-tested in high schools around the country in the fall of 2017. Each field test school will participate in a summer workshop and receive ongoing teacher professional development throughout the year. The first-year courses will be available to any high school for implementation in the fall of 2018, with additional courses following in each of the next three years. The timeline of the curriculum development process is provided below:
The high school aviation STEM curriculum is being developed under AOPA’s You Can Fly program, which was created to bring more people into aviation. By educating high school students about aviation career opportunities, helping lapsed pilots return to flying, reducing the cost of flying, and building the aviation community, You Can Fly is helping people of all ages get involved with aviation.
“You Can Fly is making aviation more inviting and accessible to everyone,” said Katie Pribyl, AOPA senior vice president of aviation strategy and programs and head of the You Can Fly program. “Humans have always dreamed of flight. Now we’re offering new ways for people to connect with that dream. For high school students, the curriculum we’re developing will offer a chance to explore the many fascinating aspects of aviation while making math and science more relevant and fun.”