October 18, 2010
By Jill W. Tallman
A $100,000 grant awarded to a group of New Jersey business and education professionals will be used to create an aviation-based curriculum that emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Local business leaders from Alexandria Airport in Pittstown initiated the collaboration, which includes Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Delaware Valley Regional High School, and affiliated local school districts, as well as Rutgers University, Raritan Valley Community College, and other aviation industry experts.
The group will use aviation-based STEM curriculum and hands-on activities at the airport to motivate and mentor students and faculty. Examples include leadership training, aviation clubs, airport engineering, orientations, early-college education credits, scholarships, summer camps, internships, and building an aircraft.
“Alexandria Field will be the living laboratory for many of the programs funded by this grant,” said Linda F. Castner, program director and part owner-operator of Alexandria airport.
The grant was obtained through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Education Program, provided through the Federal Highway Administration in collaboration with the FAA’s Air Transportation Centers of Excellence.
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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