BREAKING NEWS! Because of the continued challenges posed by the pandemic, we have decided to shift the 2021 You Can Fly High School Symposium to a virtual event on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Mark your calendar now and bookmark this page for further details.



Nov. 16, 2021 | Time TBD




If there is anything we have learned over the past couple of years, it’s that even what we consider firm plans are subject to change. Due to the continued challenges posed by the pandemic, we have decided to shift the Symposium to a virtual event this year.

Although we are disappointed that we will not be able to gather in Orlando, we look forward to connecting with you virtually. We are planning an exciting event with a new format, extended content, and numerous “breakout” sessions to match your interests.

Please bookmark this page to learn more about our virtual event and the opportunity to join hundreds of your colleagues for the nation’s most impactful offering of proven ideas, resources, tools, and best practices for incorporating aviation education into STEM programs.

Watch the pre-recorded broadcast of the 2020 Symposium here.

Why Attend?

Aerospace industry projections continue to show that a drastic shortfall of pilots, aerospace engineers, scientists, technologists, and technicians is on the horizon. Also, it is important to recognize that—while COVID has impacted many segments of the aviation industry in the short term—it has not diminished the demand for professionals that will be needed across a wide range of careers!

The AOPA Foundation High School Aviation STEM Symposium continues to be the only event in the nation that specifically targets aviation and aerospace content for high schools—making it a must-attend event for those interested in bringing an aviation STEM program to their schools.

Due to its virtual format, you will be able to experience every session from the comfort of your home, classroom, or office. Even better, the content will be available for a limited time following the live event—which means that you can access it at YOUR convenience!

Please continue to check back for updates regarding the 2021 Symposium, including speakers and content.

Need a conference attendance justification letter?

Download it here


Agenda will be updated as details become available - check back periodically.



Sunday, November 14, 2021

  • 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Symposium Registration Open
  • 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.Exhibit Area Open
  • 5:00 p.m. - ...Networking Hour

*Agenda subject to change.


Monday, November 15, 2021

  • 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Symposium Registration Open
  • 7:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
  • Various Times
    Exhibit Area Open
  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Opening General Session, Breakout Session, and Networking Break(s)
  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    General Session, Breakout Session, and Networking Break(s)
  • 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

*Agenda subject to change.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

  • 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Symposium Registration Open
  • 7:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
  • Various Times
    Exhibit Area Open
  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    General Session, Breakout Session, and Networking Break(s)
  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
    General Session and 2022 Symposium Announcement
  • 2:30 p.m.
    Symposium Ends

*Agenda subject to change.

Hotel Information

Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport

Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport

9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard
Orlando, FL, 32827

Hotel Registration Now Open

AOPA has reserved a block of rooms at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport (9300 Jeff Fuqua Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32827) from November 13 through 17, 2021 at a special group rate. Make your reservations now to guarantee your room rate. 

Please note: The Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport is conveniently located within the Orlando International Airport (MCO). Ground transportation will not be required if you choose to stay at the symposium hotel and fly into MCO.

Hotel Registration


Disney Special Offer

To purchase specially priced Disney Meeting/Convention Theme Park tickets, please call 407-566-5600 or CLICK HERE. Tickets are valid 7 days pre, during, and 7 days post meeting dates. Please note the cut-off date for advanced purchase savings is November 14, 2021.

Walt Disney World. CLICK HERE For Special Ticket Offers

Symposium Registration 

  • Admission Three Days of Activities and SessionsAdmission to the entire symposium and attendance to all education sessions, exhibit area, and networking opportunities. Tours are an additional cost.
  • Networking NetworkingThere are many opportunities to network with your peers from Sunday through Tuesday. Mingle with colleagues at our Monday evening happy hour in the exhibit hall.
  • MealsBreakfast and lunch are included on Monday and Tuesday of the symposium, and a happy hour is included on Monday evening!

Information about pre-conference tours will be available soon.



    Through Sept. 15

    Register Now
  • $300

    Beginning September 15

CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations are required to be made in writing for any applicable refund to be processed. No refund will be provided for cancellations received after Friday, October 15, 2021.


Speaker information will be updated as details become available - check back periodically.

Mark Baker

President, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Mark R. Baker joined AOPA in 2013 as president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest civil aviation organization. A native Minnesotan, Baker earned his pilot certificate in his twenties and has logged more than 10,000 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from light seaplanes to turbines and helicopters. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Baker has served on numerous corporate boards and has taken leadership roles with several nonprofit organizations. Before his appointment at AOPA, Baker served in numerous senior executive roles, including CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation, a leading retailer of home improvement and garden products. Baker also served in senior executive roles at Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Gander Mountain Company, and The Home Depot. Earlier in his career, he also worked for HomeBase, Scotty’s Home Improvement Centers, and Knox Hardware and Lumber. In conjunction with his role as president and CEO of AOPA, Baker is chairman of AOPA’s Political Action Committee; chief executive officer for the AOPA Foundation; president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, representing pilots in 81 countries; and publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest and most influential aviation publication.

Elizabeth Tennyson

Executive Director, You Can Fly, AOPA Foundation
Elizabeth Tennyson is the executive director of You Can Fly and is responsible for programs designed to get people flying and keep them flying. You Can Fly comprises four initiatives aimed at introducing high school students to aviation career opportunities, improving the flight training experience, making flying more accessible and affordable through flying clubs, and returning lapsed pilots to the cockpit. A native of California, Tennyson earned her private pilot certificate in 1998 and is an instrument-rated private pilot and a hang glider pilot. Tennyson holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and undergraduate degrees in Broadcast Journalism and International Relations from the University of Southern California. Tennyson first joined AOPA in 1998. Prior to joining You Can Fly, she held positions that included managing editor of Flight Training magazine, executive editor of AOPA Pilot magazine, vice president of publications, vice president of eMedia, and senior director of communications. Tennyson was a television, radio, and wire service reporter, working for the Associated Press in Los Angeles, Miami, and Raleigh, North Carolina, before joining AOPA. She also served as editor in chief for a collection of legal and golf magazines. Tennyson serves on the boards of the Aerospace Center for Excellence and the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

Erik Yates

Director, Curriculum Development, You Can Fly, AOPA Foundation
Erik is the Director of Curriculum Development for the High School Initiative at AOPA. Erik joins the You Can Fly team after 25 years in education as a STEM supervisor, technology curriculum coordinator, teacher trainer, and classroom teacher from elementary school through high school physics. As the Program Director for the Global Learning non-profit organization in New Jersey, Erik designed and delivered STEAM training for teachers. His week-long summer institutes offered teachers hands-on learning experiences in problem-based learning and the engineering design process. Erik has inspired his students with aviation-themed lessons while teaching in places as diverse as Tianjin, China, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Chatham, New Jersey. A 3,500-hour ATP certificated pilot, Erik earned his private pilot, CFII, and MEII credentials in high school and college before instructing full time and completing his master’s degree in Education.

Glenn Ponas

Director, High School Outreach, You Can Fly, AOPA Foundation
Glenn is responsible for providing programmatic, management and fiscal oversight of AOPA's High School initiative. He helps lead AOPA's effort to expand the adoption and implementation of the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Curriculum from its current 200+ schools in 38 states. Prior to joining AOPA, Glenn worked in the Pittsburgh Public School District as a Mathematics and Aviation Teacher and the Aviation Program Founder. He has thirty-one years of experience in the public sector as a secondary mathematics and aviation teacher, building and district level administrator, and gifted education curriculum development specialist. In 2002 he founded the Pittsburgh Gifted Center Aviation Program in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Over the next 18 years the program introduced over 3,000 students to the joy of flying, fostered over 900 first airplane rides as part of the EAA Young Eagles program, and helped inspire 27 former students to become FAA certified pilots. His students inspired him to earn his private pilot certificate in 2014, and he is currently working toward his instrument rating. In 2005, Glenn co-founded and was named President and COO of Frameworks Information Technology, Inc., a web-based data visualization and GIS analysis platform delivery company. He was also an educational data systems consultant at the state and national levels.

Jamie Beckett

You Can Fly Ambassador, AOPA Foundation
Jamie Beckett is AOPA’s You Can Fly Ambassador in Florida. His mission is to share the enjoyment of all general aviation has to offer with anyone and everyone who shows an interest. Jamie can most often be found presenting Rusty Pilot seminars, working with flight students to improve their success rate, and guiding interested individuals and groups through the process of starting and operating flying clubs. His preferred mode of transportation is a bright yellow and black Reimagined Cessna 152, which he often refers to as his company car. Jamie holds commercial land and sea ratings for airplanes, as well as instrument and multi-engine instructor ratings. He’s owned multiple airplanes over the course of his career, ranging from a relatively ordinary 1963 Cessna 150, more than one WWII era Piper J3 Cubs, and an experimental AirCam twin-engine adventure machine. An A&P mechanic with a penchant for the classics and a frequent contributor to a wide variety of aviation publications, Jamie’s passion for general aviation is truly infectious.

Karla Smith

Manager, High School Aviation Initiative, You Can Fly, AOPA Foundation
Karla Smith, Manager of the High School Aviation Initiative, is responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight for multiple projects and activities within the AOPA High School Initiative. Karla brings five years of experience as the AOPA Manager of Aviation Events and Sponsorship to the High School team. She provides project management, event planning, and sponsor and exhibitor recruitment and management for the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium. She is a key communicator to prospective schools and districts during curriculum recruitment and retention activities. Karla applies her experience as the Vice-Chairperson of the Tullahoma Regional Airport Authority and a member of multiple volunteer aviation boards to advise AOPA schools across the nation on best practices for building partnerships with aviation organizations and corporations. Karla plays a crucial role in High School program data collection and evaluation. She also directly supports AOPA curriculum teachers and assists with professional development activities.

Download Sponsor and Exhibitor Prospectus


COVID-19 Safety

The AOPA Foundation is actively monitoring the incidence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We have been asked how COVID-19 may impact the upcoming AOPA Foundation High School STEM Symposium. The AOPA Foundation will meet or exceed all local, state, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements regarding large gatherings and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

At this time, our upcoming AOPA Foundation High School STEM Symposium will take place as planned, in person and virtually. If you are sick or feel you are getting sick, we ask that you please stay home. The CDC recommends that people in high-risk groups consult with their healthcare provider about attending any large gathering. If you decide not to attend in person, we encourage you to attend virtually!



Title Sponsor


General Sponsor

  • Redbird Flight Simulators

    Redbird Flight Simulations of Austin, TX was established in 2006 with the specific purpose of making aviation more accessible by using modern technology and careful engineering. Since its inception, Redbird has delivered innovative, reliable, and high-quality training devices to flight schools, colleges, universities, K-12 schools, and individual pilots around the world. With more than 2,000 devices in service worldwide, Redbird has quickly become the fastest growing and most innovative simulator provider in the industry.

General Sponsor

  • CAU

    California Aeronautical University (CAU) is a world-class training facility connected to Bakersfield International Airport in beautiful Southern California where students live, eat, and breathe aviation. The University offers aviation-related degree programs and training for students seeking careers as professional pilots and aviation business professionals. In this immersive aviation environment, CAU students gain valuable experience you just can’t get from off-airport instruction. Students also benefit from CAU’s growing relationships with industry partners, which can provide a direct pathway to a professional aviation career. Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Tour the campus at


Check back often for updates. Exhibitors include, but will not be limited to:

  • Aviation Supplies and Academics, Inc. (ASA)
  • Boeing
  • California Aeronautical University
  • Gleim Aviation
  • Redbird Flight Simulations, Inc.
  • University Aviation Association
  • Unmanned Safety Institute
  • Western Michigan University – College of Aviation