JONESBORO — As a teacher across Arkansas, you can take advantage of Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Education Member (AEM) program as you prepare for the new school year. The program offers an aerospace education curriculum and a free her STEM kit to help teachers uplift their students’ minds with projects. base instruction.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is a subsidiary organization of the United States Air Force. Maj. Garrick St. Pierre, Director of Aerospace Education for CAP’s Arkansas Wing, said Wednesday that he now offers more than 20 different his STEM kits for teachers of all K-12 grade levels. .
“Each of these STEM kits comes with lesson plans and student materials written by experienced teachers and aerospace professionals with first-hand knowledge of the challenges in the classroom,” said Major St. Pierre. said that all the materials provided are next-generation science. It is standards compliant and completely free for Arkansas teachers and school districts.
Keith Hudson, director of the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) and chair of the NASA Arkansas Space Grant Consortium, professor of chemistry at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, said in a press release last week that the NASA ASGC is sponsoring the project. said. Aerospace research, training, and other related activities at Arkansas colleges and universities, as well as his K-12 outreach.
Major St. Pierre added that the $35 membership fee was funded by a grant from NASA’s Arkansas Space Grant Consortium.
According to Hudson, AEM programs are a great way for teachers to get involved in space, aeronautics, rocketry, and other STEM activities.
Civil Air Patrol spent over $100,000 to provide hundreds of STEM kits to Arkansas classrooms statewide. This affects thousands of students.
Dave Holbrook, teacher at the Career and Technology Center in Northeast Arkansas, is proud to be a member of CAP Aerospace Education and excited to present at the AEM conference later this year. I said yes.
He said he has been using Civil Air Patrol’s AEM program for the past few years to help drone and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) students learn about aerospace technology.
“The free STEM kits have been very helpful,” he said, noting he plans to get a few more this year.
“Being AEM has provided us with a lot of opportunities,” says Holbrook. “In addition, there are some very useful books and manuals on aviation.”
Holbrook said he believes drones and UAS are the way of the future as drones are used more and more.
“Drones are used for many different purposes.
“Drones are already being used for photography and videography, deliveries and data collection,” he said, adding that many businesses and organizations are using drones, from farmers and businesses to police and fire departments to game and fish in Arkansas. I just pointed out that I’m starting to use it. It includes a variety of tasks such as precision agriculture and agricultural mapping, land surveying, parcel delivery and transport, traffic surveys, accident mapping, and more.
“It’s amazing what you can do with drone technology,” Holbrook continued.
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to understand the current state of aviation regulations, flight safety, flight plans, and flight simulators, Holbrook said.
His student said he would be able to get a certified remote pilot license after taking the exam.
He pointed out that after they get their licenses, they should be able to find jobs that pay $150 to $200 an hour.
According to the press release, perhaps the most sought after part of becoming an AEM is the Teacher Orientation Program (TOP) flight. This is what a participating teacher can fly for free each year on her CAP aircraft.
The aim is to “give teachers firsthand the thrill and excitement of flying.”
CAP’s Arkansas Wing currently operates nine Cessna 172s and 182s in the state.
Major St-Pierre said he had already completed more than 50 TOP flights this year alone.
Holbrook said it was very exciting to do the TOP flight and even took over the control of the plane for a bit.
In fact, it was so exhilarating that he says he is now working on his pilot’s license.
Also, according to the release, the Arkansas Wing Aerospace Department will host an educator workshop that will provide teachers with six hours of professional development time to help teachers make the most of CAP materials to have the greatest impact on their students. I try to keep up to date with how I give.
CAP also partners with the Air Force Space Forces Association to offer many other types of grants to STEM educators. Additionally, the Arkansas Wing also offers grants in partnership with his ASGC.
Major St-Pierre also said individuals do not have to be traditional teachers to qualify for the program.
“Anyone who directly affects children is welcome to apply and use our free products,” he said.
“The reason we do this is simple,” he said. “Last year, aerospace was the #1 export from Arkansas, and we, as a country, are projected to be short of over 10,000 pilots by the end of this year. , the growth and income potential of the aerospace industry is exploding.”
For more information, questions, or to become a member of the local unit, please visit ARWG.CAP.GOV or call the Arkansas Wing Recruiting NCO at 479-285-1482.