Avionics News August 2019 - 35

rather than prescriptive. Neither aviation program is Part
147 compliant, Brown said. "The avionics program is set
up in line with the ASTM NCATT committee, so when new
standards are released, we immediately use those standards
in the classroom." It is an efficient and economical way to
keep pace with avionics advancing technology and present it
to students in a form accepted by the industry.

credits and three industry certifications," Conklin said.
The institute is named for state Senator Don Gaetz, once a
school superintendent, who recognized the need for a skilled
aerospace workforce and helped establish the first Aerospace
Career Academy.
Courses range from aeronautical science's private pilot
ground school, unmanned aircraft systems, JROTC, and
aviation legislation to aviation maintenance, engineering,
human factors, aerospace and occupational safety, and
meteorology and geoscience. To participate, Conklin said,
"all schools have to do is reach out to us."

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Gaetz Aerospace Institute -
Daytona Beach, Florida
Finding qualified instructors and devising an effective
curriculum is an overwhelming
Central Florida
hurdle for many high schools that
Aerospace Academy -
would like to establish an aviation
Lakeland, Florida
STEM program. The Embry-Riddle
The Central Florida Aerospace
EDUCATORS ALSO KNOW
Aeronautical University Gaetz
Academy
opened at the Sun 'n Fun
THAT THEY CANNOT
Aerospace Institute has a solution
Aerospace Center for Excellence at
START BUILDING THESE
that benefitted 157 secondary
Lakeland-Linder Airport in August
BRIDGES TOO EARLY IN A
schools, 214 high school teachers,
2008. A career and technical STEM
STUDENT'S LIFE, WHICH
and more than 6,000 students in the
academy, it collaborates with the
2018-19 school year.
local aerospace community to
IS WHY A NUMBER OF
A concurrent enrollment
provide relevant aviation-focused
HIGH SCHOOLS ACROSS
program, it gives high school
academic experiences to students of
THE NATION HAVE
students the opportunity to take
Polk County Public Schools.
ESTABLISHED
AVIATION
college-credit courses taught by
Recognized as a National Career
college-credentialed teachers at
Academy Coalition Model Academy
STEM PROGRAMS.
their high school campus on its
school, CFAA offers flight training,
everyday schedule. Embry-Riddle
aircraft maintenance, avionics,
professors not only visit participating
engineering, UAS operations and Part
campuses to assess progress and standards, they prepare the
147 A&P courses. This allows students to earn advanced
high school teachers for the classes they will teach, which
placement college credits as well as industry certifications
employ ERAU assessments and evaluations.
and licenses while completing their high school educations.
"Faculty credentialing is our greatest challenge," said
The program promotes hands-on learning that responds
Colleen Conklin, the institute's executive director. "To
to industry needs by emphasizing teamwork, individual
address this, we have developed a series of high school
achievement, skill development and critical thinking.
courses to engage and expose students to aviation and the
Students pursue their aviation interests as electives beyond
aerospace industry. Our SMART@ER course series gives
their academic courses in math, English, science, social
schools that have interested teachers who lack a master's
science and foreign language.
degree an opportunity to participate."
Avionics and airframe and powerplant electives are
Last year, "84 high schools offered dual enrollment, while
both four-year programs. The others, such as aerospace
others offered high school coursework and competitions
technologies, engineering in aerospace, UAS operations, and
in underwater remote operating vehicles, UAS, flight, and
Air Force JROTC space science are three-year programs,
aviation algebra," Conklin said. With dual enrollment, the
with fourth-year options of leadership and transportation.
program exposes high school students to collegiate academic
Since 2011, students have attended class in the three-story
challenges and starts their college course transcripts. In
academy with seats for 500 students, thanks to a $7.5 million
addition, it offers a $2,000 annual scholarship to students
grant to Sun 'n Fun from James C. Ray to build an aviation
who continue their aviation education at ERAU after their
high school. Of all the students pursuing their aviation
high school graduation.
electives, as of the 2018-19 school year, 35 were enrolled
"Students who attend all three years of programming
in the flight-training program, and 50 were pursuing their
could realistically graduate high school with 18 college
airframe and powerplant certificates. q
avionics news

*

august

2019

35



Avionics News August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News August 2019

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