Avionics News August 2019 - 34

Photo courtesy of Gaetz Aerospace Institute

High school students get hands-on with an assignment at Palm Beach County Park/Lantana Airport.

RELEVANT STEM

Continued from page 33

internships. Johnson, an A&P who retired after 21 years
of service (most of it working on Marine Corps F-18s),
meets twice a year with Sanford aviation businesses,
including L3 and Lockheed-Martin, to build and sustain
these relationships.
Kent Career Technical Center -
Grand Rapids, Michigan
A 20,000-square-foot hangar at the Gerald R. Ford
International Airport is the satellite campus for Kent
Independent School District's aviation STEM courses,
aviation maintenance technology, avionics-aircraft
electronics, and introductions to aeronautical engineering,
piloting, and air traffic control.
Aviation is part of the larger Kent Career Technical
Center, which encompasses programs that range from
sustainable agriscience, HVAC, and IT to mechatronics,
precision machining, and 3D animation game science.
Recognizing the industry's demand for technicians,
KCTC introduced its aviation maintenance program in
2000 and its avionics program in 2008; in 2012, it became
the first high school program to earn National Center for
Aerospace and Transportation Technologies accreditation
34

avionics news

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august

2019

for aircraft electronics technician certification.
About 40 students are enrolled in the avionics program,
which has seats for 50 students, noted their instructor, Nick
Brown, who started his avionics career in the U.S. Air Force.
The curriculum structure allows a one- or two-year program.
Whether starting as a junior or senior, the first two semesters
of avionics meet NCATT standards for AET and foreign
object elimination certification, Brown said. "The second
year of the program uses NCATT endorsements for radio
communication systems, dependent navigation systems, and
onboard communication and safety systems."
Students also learn to conduct FAR 91.411/91.413 testing
using the Aeroflex IFR 6000 and 4000 test sets, and the
Barfield pitot-static test set. "In the past four years, we have
certified more than 175 students in NCATT certifications,"
Brown said. "We currently have around a 95% pass rate on
the AET certification."
An advisory board, composed of industry partners
including L3, Mayday Avionics, NCATT, Amway Global,
Duncan Aviation, and Northern Air, guide the program,
which is an AEA member. The advisory board members also
serve as designated examiners during student evaluations,
Brown said. This gives students another source of feedback
on their performance and an industry source for career
guidance.
KCTC aviation programs are hands-on and descriptive



Avionics News August 2019

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