GREENVILLE, S.C. — Volunteer pilot mentors from STEM Flights flew to Downtown Greenville Airport (KGMU) to meet with local students enrolled in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s High School STEM Curriculum at Greenville Technical Charter High School.
“STEM Flights gives meaning to what we do in the classroom,” said Doug Adomatis, the aviation educator at GTCHS, which is in its fourth year of using the AOPA curriculum. “Our students are able to get aviation experiences locally, and this event really capped off the learning this semester.”
Pilot mentors came from Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina to participate in the Nov. 21, 2020, event. A small group of four students were selected to receive a flight experience from STEM Flights. The event was held outside at the Runway Café and the flights took place over the scenic valleys of South Carolina.
Each student was paired with a pilot mentor. They completed pre-flight safety checklists, STEM learning objectives in the cockpit, and finally a debrief.
Due to safety concerns over COVID, all pilot mentors and students met outside and wore masks during the experience, officials noted.
STEM Flights is based in Virginia, but has volunteer pilot mentors all over the country. Director of Development, Carley Walker, noted that working with educators like Doug Adomatis helps STEM Flights reach more students.
“Doug is so passionate about aviation and youth development, he is always searching for unique opportunities to enrich the curriculum he is teaching,” Carley said.
STEM Flights Founder and Chairman Dave Brubaker was also at the event to answer questions and generate interest from local pilots who want to volunteer their time flying students.
“If pilots can commit to four or five flights a year, that makes a tremendous impact on so many students across the country,” Brubaker said.
STEM Flights pairs students with pilot mentors in their geographic area to receive a STEM Flight experience. Students learn STEM curriculum online and also are provided follow up resources for pursuing careers in STEM and aviation.