Morgan Aviation and Space EducationProject led by Morgan Local Schools
About the project.
This project is designed to give students hands-on experiences in aviation and space exploration. Topics include how airplanes work, how they are designed, and how to fly them. Using aerospace education resources, textbooks, and lesson plans from the Civil Air Patrol, students will be taught aviation basics called “ground school.” The ground school teaches students all of the instruments used when flying an airplane, how the 3 axis of an airplane work in conjunction with the 3 control surfaces, and the forces that allow airplanes to fly. Through the use of virtual reality goggles, computer flight simulators and a flight joy stick, students will learn to fly an airplane in an immersive 360 degree experience.
The other major topic is space exploration. Students will design, build, and launch model rockets using National Rocketry Association and Civil Air Patrol curriculum and resources. Model rocketry teaches concepts of geometry, propulsion, physics, and chemistry. We also use virtual reality for exploring the International Space Station and doing space walks to explore the earth and surrounding planets. The virtual reality systems have several simulation applications to use just as the aviation part.
There is a national shortage of pilots and aerospace professionals and this type of program aims to create awareness of aerospace careers and experiences that many students never get exposed to. Most Morgan County students have never seen the inside of an airplane, flown in an airplane, or been to an airport. This is also true about seeing NASA rockets and aerospace topics such as rocketry and rocket systems. This program is designed to empower students who want to gain new knowledge in aviation and space exploration and how aerospace topics influence their daily lives. It is the hope of this program that annually at least 80-150 students or more will use this equipment and curriculum. The school district wants to add this to our summer tech camp, junior high technology curriculum, and after school programs. Morgan County has a very nice airport and there may be future events to have a fly-in at the airport and have students visit and see what happens there.
FAO staff comments.
The implementation of the Morgan Local Schools Aviation & Space Project was inspired by Morgan Local students’ interest in getting more hands-on experience with virtual reality technology. Student-driven programs increase engagement with the content and expose young people to career pathways they might not have previously considered. The equipment purchased through this Cause Connector project will be reused for multiple years and across multiple programs in the District, including STEM subjects but also the annual summer tech camp sponsored by the District.