September 26, 2013
By Elizabeth A Tennyson
Teachers will have the opportunity to get hands on experience with general aviation as they learn how to make GA part of the curriculum in their classrooms.
On Oct. 26, the Michigan Aeronautics Commission will offer a full day of teacher training focused on bringing general aviation into kindergarten through twelfth grade classes. The event, which is being offered in partnership with the Square One Education Network and AOPA, will feature expert speakers, AOPA Jay simulators, and opportunities for teachers to fly in general aviation aircraft.
With schools nationwide focused on providing programs using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curricula, general aviation is a natural fit.
“Teachers are typically very interested in finding new and unique ways to make the required content relevant,” said Karl Klimek, who is executive orchestrator for Square One and a member of the Michigan Aeronautics Commission’s General Aviation Committee. “Bringing authentic applications of STEM content to classrooms through aviation and aerospace activities and experiences offers exceptional pathways through which the content can be delivered. At a time when a renewed emphasis on developing a STEM-savvy talent pool is gaining momentum, we felt this was an excellent time to reunite schools and their local airports.”
The event is not only good for teachers and students, but also for the whole general aviation community.
“Whenever people get the chance to experience general aviation first hand, they discover that flying is more accessible and more fun than they ever imagined,” said Bryan Budds, AOPA’s Great Lakes regional manager who also sits on the aeronautics commission’s General Aviation Committee. “This is a great way for the GA community to show nonpilots the value of our airports.”
Event planners expect to train some 150 teachers during the daylong event. And AOPA members in Michigan are encouraged to share information about the training with their local school officials and teachers. Detailed information and registration forms are available for download on the Square One Education Network’s website.
Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.
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