UVSC training high school pilots


    By Daniel Monson

    UVSC has begun providing aviation classes to high schools nationwide.

    The program, AeroScholars, is being offered by Utah Valley State College?s Global Aviation Department with combined help from Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).

    Juxtaposing high school kids with ?experiment aircraft? may come as a surprise, but it?s already a hit with students ? not to mention it?s endorsed by the Federal Aviation Administration and has the support from NASA and other groups.

    ?It?s an awesome program,? said Eytan Weber, a student from Marlboro High School in New Jersey. ?The advanced program really gets into the good stuff to prepare for the pilots test.?

    Currently there are 150 students enrolled in the program. Enrollment is projected to increase to around 500 by next year.

    Students in the program represent 100 high schools from 26 states nationwide.

    ?This is the first program of its kind,? said Kenny Downing in a UVSC news release. ?Though there are a number of online courses available to high school students, this is the first one that addresses aviation to the degree it does.?

    The online aviation classes were originally developed and offered to college students in 1999.

    ?Around 2002, the EAA approached UVSC to develop a program to high schools,? said Dusting Berling, UVSC adjunct faculty.

    The college in turn developed the AeroScholars system.

    The first course given is titled Fundamentals of Aviation Science. This class provides introductions to the aviation industry, career options, aerodynamics and flight.

    The second course in the series is Advanced Aviation Science. Students learn to prepare for private pilot examinations. Upon successful completion of the courses students receive five college credits.

    Online classes will also act as electives for high school students and fulfill a core requirement for graduation.

    The program seems to be gaining momentum across the country.

    ?We just returned from a trip to Milwaukee,? said Berlin. ?The Milwaukee Academy of Aviation and Technology will have 100 students per year joining the AeroScholars program and will make it a part of their curriculum.?

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