Nov. 3, 2020 – Ed White High School is looking to the skies to help prepare students for the future.
The school’s aerospace program allows students to explore careers in aviation and offers courses on the foundation of flight.
The program instructor, John Beasley, says he embraces the challenge of training the next generation of pilots and discusses how he hopes this programs unlocks the secrets of flight.
What is your role in the aerospace program?
Beasley: My role is multi-purpose. I hold an FAA commercial pilot’s license with both single and multi-engine land ratings, and recently received my FAA Part 107 license which allows me to be a remote pilot, so now I can fly drones. I bring over 45 years of aviation experience in both the general and commercial aviation environment to the classroom.
What is the focus of the program?
Beasley: In addition to core academics, the program offers courses that focus on aerospace skills and experiences that prepare students for careers in aerospace and beyond. The focus on hands-on, experiential learning in a real-world context allows students to find out, firsthand, what it takes to succeed in the aerospace industry. The skills learned, such as teamwork, problem-solving, design thinking, and applied technology reach beyond aerospace and are skills needed in many fields.
What cool activities do your students get to experience in the program?
Beasley: The classroom and laboratory provide safe and appropriate settings for student exploration and learning. The structured, yet active environment stimulates students’ creativity and helps them develop the necessary skills for future employment. Students can fly remote-controlled aircraft, drones, build and launch actual rockets and take part in an actual flight by utilizing our flight simulators.
What certifications can students earn?
Beasley: Students who are 16 years of age (FAA Requirement) can earn their Remote (Drone) Pilot’s License and if they are really motivated to fly learn all they need to know to complete their FAA Private Pilot written exam.
Preparing young people for careers in aviation goes far beyond training exercises in a simulator or later, flying solo in a cockpit. The aerospace program at Ed White High School includes a hands-on approach to learning and mastering STEM topics as well. Students may also participate in dual enrollment courses with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University to earn college credit.
Students geared toward STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and those simply curious about aviation and space flight will flourish as they learn the practice of aerospace technology and look forward to building a career in aviation and aeronautics.
Rebecca Miller, a CTE specialist with the district, writes a regular blog that highlights the many district CTE programs offered.