A fun new resource is helping K-12 teachers prepare their students for potential careers in aviation and other STEM-related fields. The free program, AeroEducate, was created by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the NC State College of Education. The program educates kids about aviation principals, fundamentals, and careers. 

According to NC State College of Education News, the program includes a number of age-appropriate experiments and activities for K-12 students that introduce them to aeronautical concepts, including lift, force, and acceleration. Projects can be integrated into formal and informal classroom environments or completed by individual students. 

The team behind the project, which includes educators from the National Institute of Aerospace, worked with the EAA to produce 24 aviation-themed Integrative STEM activities. The lessons, tested by hundreds of students, include hands-on activities involving engineering. For example, through the Lighter Than Air challenge, students in New Jersey learned all about Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

“Using a large helium balloon and the parts to a remote-controlled model airplane, students had to create a neutrally buoyant and steerable blimp,” Laura Doyle, the students’ teacher, told NC State College of Education News. “Once they figured out how to orient their propellers and handle steering, they had a blast maneuvering their blimps around the different obstacles in the classroom. They started off steering in a figure-eight path, but soon incorporated their own ideas: steering through an upright hula hoop, knocking over plastic cups, and ‘kicking’ a beach ball. It was great!”

AeroEducate, which is still being beta tested, includes sections focused on aviation careers, scholarship opportunities, activity posters, aviation glossaries, and charts for aligning to Common Core Math Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and the Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy. 

Learn more about the program here