Curriculum Video

Planes, Drones, and Mathematics: How One Aviation Curriculum Is Opening Doors for Students

By Jaclyn Borowski — May 3, 2022 6:05
Sophomore Byron Barksdale, left, and classmates from Magruder High School’s aviation program examine the inside of a charter plane at the Montgomery County Airpark in Gaithersburg, Md., on April 6, 2022.

A free and relatively new curriculum designed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation helps students learn critical problem-solving skills by teaching them how to fly airplanes and drones, and it prepares them for a variety of careers in the aviation industry. The curriculum—now used in more than 320 schools in at least 44 states—is addressing massive shortages of pilots, air traffic controllers, aviation mechanics, and other jobs in the industry. Here is a look at how the program works at Magruder High School in Rockville, Md.

Jaclyn Borowski is the visuals editor for Education Week leading video and photo initiatives.

Coverage of STEM, problem solving, and entrepreneurial thinking is supported in part by a grant from The Lemelson Foundation, at Education Week retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.


Curriculum Video Problem Solving at the Highest Level: What Teachers and Students Can Learn From Tammie Jo Shults
Pilot and author Tammie Jo Shults on the problem-solving lessons in aviation that apply to teaching and learning.
Student Well-Being Video Inside Latino Parents' Push for Healthy, Culturally Appropriate School Lunches
Parents in one Colorado district want to see the same improvements to school lunches that were achieved in a neighboring district.
1 min read
Student Well-Being Video A Parent Looks Back On a Successful District-Parent Collaboration
In one Colorado district, parents advocated for improved school meals, and succeeded in bringing about significant change.
Student Well-Being Video Fighting for Food With a Video Campaign
Feeling unheard, parents launched a video campaign to build support for their advocacy efforts around school lunches.