Out my office window amidst piles of dirt are men laboring in the oppressive heat of Texas July days, preparing for the concrete pour, just weeks away. A quick glance serves as a constant reminder to turn up the heat on the creation of programming for inside the NAEC. The Education Department is off to a good start, having revamped workstation-style learning activities for Wings Over Dallas’ Aviation Discovery Zone, built a Prekindergarten aviation experience, and an ongoing high school internship program for aviation students who are restoring a J-3 Cub. Many more programs in our “fleet” of education are still ahead of us, and we are digging in mentally as the workmen outside are physically.
All education programs focus on hands-on educational opportunities for students to grow STEM and aviation skills. Experience and exposure to aviation and aviation careers will take place in a vertically-aligned programs, to reach students at multiple points in their development, from Prekindergarten through high school. Our educational programs inspire and foster the development of 21st Century professional skills (communication, critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and citizenship) through aviation and/or history-related learning. And of course, building mechanical comprehension will be included. (It’s not a plus or minus screwdriver!)