June 14, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
Any teacher who has searched for ways to blend the fun and excitement of aviation with its unmatched ability to educate young learners in science, history, and mathematics may soon have an unmatched opportunity to get the ball rolling.
On July 26, the nonprofit aviation education organization Build A Plane will hold its third annual Teachers Day at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wis. The event, in cooperation with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and AirVenture’s host, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), “will expose teachers to a variety of programs and curricula that allow educators to put aviation in classrooms, from kindergarten through high school grades,” said Build A Plane’s announcement of Teachers Day.
“We are amazed how many great opportunities are out there to use aviation to motivate kids to learn,” said Lyn Freeman, Build A Plane’s president. “Today’s students respond to real world applications and challenges, and aviation reallycaptures their attention.”
Among the Teachers Day speakers will be Jennifer Storm, AOPA director of flight training initiatives, who will show the teachers how AOPA’s Pilots and Teachers Handbook (PATH) links math, physics, history, and technology with the basics of aviation. Presentations and breakout sessions will put teachers in contact with the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, NASA, the FAA, and many other aviation organizations.
Teachers can receive continuing education credit for attending the event. They will have a chance to look over educational material about aviation from private industry, government, and aviation organizations. Participants will have the opportunity to take part in numerous hands-on presentations, and a wide variety of free take-home materials will be available.
“There are some truly remarkable programs out there for absolutely all grade levels,” said Katrina Bradshaw, Build A Plane’s executive director. “Not only can teachers use aviation to motivate kids to learn science, math, technology and engineering, but this is a chance to allow their students to start a lifelong love affair with aviation.”
On Nov. 1, 2010, AOPA reported on how Build A Plane helped students in Talkeetna, Alaska, learn about aviation through the refurbishing of a Piper Cherokee Six and how—after the news got out—subsequent offers of assistance and donations flowed in from the community.
Those attending Teachers Day will receive a free one-day pass to AirVenture, compliments of EAA. Register online for the event at the Build A Plane website. Space is limited. For more information, contact Build A Plane at 804/843-3321.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor.
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