Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Teachers Aviation Career Day Introduces Educators to Aviation STEM Resources

By Carmelo Turdo
The Midwest Aviation Community again showed support for STEM (Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education and aviation career development by participating in Teachers Aviation Career Day at Mid America Airport in Mascoutah, IL Tuesday.  The event provided area K-12 educators with a first-hand look at available area aviation service providers and resources that add value to the STEM curricula many school districts are developing.  According to Keith Mueller, representing Southwestern Illinois College and a key organizer, there were 160 schools from 13 counties in the St. Louis and Metro East Illinois area scheduled to be represented by the attendees, and it is hoped that this event will spark enhanced communication among educators and the aviation community.

The exhibits were arranged on both floors of the Mid America Airport terminal, and several aircraft arrived and parked on the apron.  The exhibitors represented all aspects of aviation, including commercial airlines, military careers, flying schools and college aviation programs, advocacy groups, educational non-profit organizations and even camera drone operators.  Having the event at an airport, with the aircraft present, emphasized the point that aviation services and careers are important to everyday life, and that the skills needed to participate in aviation as a vocation are within the grasp of those students who participate in STEM programs.  

The Aero Experience is pleased to congratulate the organizers and educators for participating in this great aviation community outreach event, and we will support future efforts to encourage on-going communication between the Midwest Aviation community and area school districts.  We have prepared this photo essay showing some of the exhibitors and the aircraft on display, and encourage those who could not attend this event to seek out information about the role aviation can play in your STEM programs.

Overhead view of a portion of the lower level exhibit hall

Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis


Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 64

Federal Aviation Administration

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association

Ninety-Nines and Women With Wings

Southern Illinois University

Southwestern Illinois College

Sparta Aero Services

Trans States Airlines

Transportation Security Administration

Wings of Hope

Yield Enhancement Service

Aircraft were parked on the apron behind the terminal, representing various aviation groups and aircraft types.  Educators visited with the pilots and became familiar with various flying opportunities available in the St. Louis and Metro East Illinois area.

General layout of the apron:

General Aviation aircraft used by the State of Illinois, Southern Illinois University Flight Program, and Mr. Bob McDaniel's personal aircraft that has flown many Young Eagles with Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 64:

Vans Aircraft RV-7A built and flown by Mr. Larry Frey:

Cessna 182 used by the Civil Air Patrol:

Cirrus SR20 used by the Parks College of St. Louis University Flight Program:

Piper Cherokee Representing Sparta Aero Services:

Pitts S-2A Special used for teaching aerobatic flight by Bi-Plane Training: 

Bell Helicopter Textron 206 Long Ranger used for medical air transport by Survival Flight:

Special thanks to the organizers, exhibitors, attending educators, and Mid America Airport for making this Midwest Aviation outreach event a great success.  The Aero Experience will continue to promote and participate in events and programs that will encourage the development of aviation themes in STEM education.

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