Oxbridge Aviation Program Focuses On STEM

A student receives instruction in the Redbird MCX Flight Simulator at Oxbridge Academy.

The Oxbridge Academy is one of a select group of high schools in the nation approved to implement the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) high school aviation science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum in the 2018-19 school year.

This new accreditation expands Oxbridge’s existing aviation curriculum with an emphasis on the STEM component, which will apply math and physics concepts to aviation technology. Oxbridge is one of only two schools in the state that offers students the opportunity to explore the aviation and aeronautics industries through elective courses, extracurricular clubs and a full-motion Redbird MCX Flight Simulator.

AOPA’s aviation STEM curriculum is the first of its kind and offers students comprehensive, four-year aviation study options aligned with rigorous math and science standards used in many states nationwide. The program aims to provide students the skills they need to learn about aviation-related career and educational opportunities.

AOPA is developing these courses as part of three career and technical education pathways: pilot, unmanned aircraft systems (drones) and aerospace engineering.

“At Oxbridge, we provide unique educational opportunities for our students,” Oxbridge Academy Head of School Dr. Ralph Maurer said. “This type of experiential course offering with an emphasis on STEM is just what our students need to prepare them for success in life. It is an enhancement to our existing aviation curriculum where students have the opportunity to learn on an actual flight simulator and to learn to fly drones and learn about this new technology.”

Prior to implementation in select schools, AOPA tested the ninth-grade curriculum in nearly 30 schools with more than 700 students. The courses are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and includes all the resources teachers will need. Lesson plans, presentations, assessments and other learning opportunities will be taught as rigorous, engaging and fun student activities. For more info., visit www.oapb.org/academics/signature-programs.