AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium

November 6-7, 2017
American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum
Fort Worth, TX

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The AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium brings dedicated educators from around the nation for two full days of sharing insights, ideas, and best practices for starting and building aviation STEM programs.

The AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium is the ONLY high school event in the nation that specifically targets aviation and aerospace content.

The world will continue to need pilots, aerospace engineers, scientists, technologists, and technicians as we progress into the 21st century. Let’s work together to prepare students for success with 21st-century skills!


  • Speakers EXPERT SPEAKERSFrom the aviation, STEM, and career and technical education communities
  • Sessions MORE BREAKOUT SESSIONSOn topics such as unmanned aircraft systems, aerospace engineering, and pilot education
  • Time MORE TIME FOR YOUNetwork with fellow participants, including educators, administrators, university faculty, industry leaders, and aviation program leaders
  • Explore EXPLORE THE MUSEUMWhich features a rare Douglas DC-3 airliner

Why Attend?

Come learn from the experts in aviation education. Interest in aviation STEM education continues to grow every year. Last year’s participants told us they wanted more time to learn and connect. We listened! Join us for two full days of breakout sessions, industry tours, and networking opportunities you will not want to miss.

The AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium is your chance to get to know the leaders in the field. Our speakers come with a wealth of experience in multiple areas including education and the aviation industry. They will share lessons learned and provide fresh ideas to take back to your classrooms. We’ve added more time for breakout sessions that extend from just starting an aviation program all the way to building a flight training program.

The excitement about aviation education from participant’s at this symposium creates an energized atmosphere you’ll find nowhere else!


    Hear from leaders in the STEM and CTE education communities and the aviation industry.


    We’ll focus on topics such as integrating aviation into STEM classes, fostering partnerships, learning how to start an aviation program, and integrating AOPA’s free aviation STEM curriculum into your school.


    Great networking opportunities with fellow participants, including educators, administrators, university faculty, and industry leaders.


    This year’s symposium features a behind-the-scenes tour of American Airline’s world-class flight operations center and flight training facility. This experience is not available to the general public!


    Visitors to the C.R. Smith Museum are in for a real treat as they tour American Airlines history, with interactive exhibits and featuring a rare Douglas DC-3 airliner.

Attendance Justification Letter Template



  • Monday
  • Tuesday

November 6, 2017

  • 7:15 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.Registration and Breakfast
  • 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.Opening General Session featuring filmmaker Brian Terwilliger
  • 9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.AOPA High School Initiative Update
  • 10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.Networking Break (Exhibits open)
  • 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.Breakout Sessions and American Airlines Tour**
  • 11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Networking Break (Exhibits open)
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Breakout Sessions and American Airlines Tour**
  • 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.Lunch (Exhibits open)
  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.Aviation Workforce Panel
    "Why aviation? Why now?"
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.Connect Event
  • 3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.Networking Break (Exhibits open)
  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.Breakout Session and American Airlines Tour**
  • 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Evening Reception (Exhibits open)

November 7, 2017

  • 8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.Breakfast
  • 8:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.Opening Remarks
  • 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.Post-Secondary Aviation Panel
  • 9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.Networking Break (Exhibits open)
  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.Breakout Session and American Airlines Tour**
  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.Lunch (Exhibits open)
  • 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.Breakout Session and American Airlines Tour**
  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.Networking Break (Exhibits open until 2:00 pm)
  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.Post-Secondary Aviation Panel
    "Potential educational pathways for high school graduates"
  • 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.Closing
  • 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.American Airlines Tour**

*Agenda subject to change. Please check back often for session descriptions and speakers.

**American Airlines tours will be offered during each breakout session as well as after the symposium has concluded on Tuesday, November 7 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. 30 slots are available for each tour.

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Where to Stay

AOPA has reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn & Suites from November 4 to 8, 2017 at a group rate of $135 per night. Participants are responsible to book and pay for their own rooms. Make your reservation early to ensure the block rate.

The negotiated room rate will be available until October 22 or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.

Complimentary hot breakfast offered daily.

Complimentary wireless Internet access in the lobby and all guestrooms.

The Dallas Cowboys will be playing at the AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 5 and the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Race Weekend in Fort Worth is Nov. 2 – 5. Be sure to secure your hotel room early as most of the hotels in the area will be sold out!


Registration Includes

  • Admission Two-Day AdmissionAdmission to the entire symposium and attendance to all education sessions, networking opportunities, an exclusive tour of American Airlines, and the C.R. Smith Museum.
  • Networking NetworkingJoin us on your first evening in Fort Worth to kick off the symposium! Mingle with colleagues and meet new people at our Monday evening reception, including cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres.
  • Breakfast MealsBreakfast and lunch are included on both days of the symposium!


    Through Sept. 30th

    Register Now
  • $260

    After Sept. 30th



David Tatum

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Nancy McGee

Nancy is currently the Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) K-12 in the Grand Prairie Independent School District.


Steve DeWitt

Stephen DeWitt is the Deputy Executive Director for the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). 

Carl Davis

As Director of Air Crew Operations for Boeing Global Services, Carlton “Carl” Davis leads over 100 employees working in the Flight Technical and Safety, Flight Training - Airplane, Cabin Safety Training, Pilot Services, and the Electronic Checklist Team.


Dr. Ken Byrnes

Dr. Kenneth Byrnes is the Assistant Dean of the College of Aviation, an Associate Professor of Aeronautical Science, and the Chairman of the Flight Training Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus.