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 director of photography and videography for Education Week.

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

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