Teachers take notes from pilots at AirVenture

August 6, 2009

Some teachers spend part of their summer in school, so to speak. On July 28 at EAA AirVenture (not a bad classroom), teachers from around the country learned what they could do to help encourage students to take interest in subjects like math and science by incorporating aviation into everyday lessons. The gathering of educators for Teachers’ Day was sponsored by BuildAPlane, EAA, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny kicked off the day talking about the important role teachers play in shaping today’s youth. As one of the major sponsors of the event, GAMA President Pete Bunce joined Poberezny on stage to welcome attendees. To motivate the crowd, renowned aerobatic performer Sean Tucker and his son, Eric (also an aerobatic pilot), showed videos of their routines and spoke about how aviation helps youth learn teamwork, leadership, and communication skills. Jeppesen President and CEO Mark Van Tine and Cessna Aircraft Company CEO Jack Pelton also discussed the industry’s collaboration to inspire more youth to consider aviation careers.

AOPA Director of Public Relations Jennifer Storm presented AOPA’s Pilots and Teacher Handbook (PATH), a booklet with lesson plan ideas geared toward middle school classes. Each teacher received a goodie bag with the handbook.

For teachers who are successful in getting students interested in aviation, Storm explained the association’s free online resources, including Let’s Go Flying, Flight Path, and AOPA Air Safety Foundation online courses. She also pointed out that student pilots can receive six free issues of AOPA Flight Training magazine as well as six months of  AOPA membership benefits.

“Aviation is a great way to engage and motivate students in subjects like math, science, and history,” Storm said. “AOPA is proud to provide resources to help teachers spark their students’ interest in aviation.”