The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is inviting high schools to apply for AOPA’s free aviation-based, ninth-grade science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum. The ninth-grade courses are the first of a four-year program that includes three career and technical education pathways — pilot, aerospace engineering, and drones.
Each fall, a new level of courses will become available to schools for implementation until all four high school grade levels of curriculum are presented, AOPA officials said. Schools that decide to apply will have the option to select individual courses to use as stand-alone electives or to implement one or more complete aviation pathways.
“This is a major step in our work to help young people learn more about the engaging and well-paying careers in aviation, and it gives schools the tools they need to teach our children skills that will last a lifetime,” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker.
Over the past 12 months, AOPA tested the ninth-grade curriculum in nearly 30 schools with more than 700 students.
According to AOPA officials, the courses are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and includes everything a teacher needs, including lesson plans, presentations, assessments, and other learning opportunities.
Cindy Hasselbring, AOPA High School Aviation Initiative senior director, noted that donations to the AOPA Foundation allow the program to be offered free of charge to any public or private high school and would likely engage some students “who may never have considered aviation before.”
The deadline for applying to use the aviation STEM curriculum during the 2018-2019 school year is April 19, 2018.
The AOPA aviation STEM curriculum is part of the association’s You Can Fly High School Initiative, which is aimed at growing and implementing aviation STEM programs in high schools across the country.