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Homework Assignment – Teach at a Local School

ARSA members should be accustomed to the association’s general encouragement to get involved in the community. For the sake of good corporate citizenship and long-term workforce development, there are plenty of reasons for aviation businesses to become familiar with the people and organizations around them.

In particular, involved companies should have open doors and regular exchange of ideas with local schools. This can mean supporting existing activities, participating in career days or visits and hosting field trips or other kinds of open houses for local students – an interesting way to let students get to know you and even build interest in your work (so they can do it someday).

The “Make a Windmill” exercise teaches kids about basic aerodynamics (and does not require a type certificate or completion of any FAA forms). Maintenance professionals could help students make a windmill, then talk about how the principles involved relate to aviation and connect it back to their work.

With the assistance of the FAA’s STEM Aviation and Space Education (AVSED) Outreach Program, ARSA is issuing a specific challenge to the aviation maintenance community: Teach at a local school.

Meeting this challenge doesn’t require a career change, but reaching out to a local school or schools (start with lower elementary – kindergartners provide a friendly, if distractible audience that you can visit and make an impact on for years to come) and following a few basic steps:

(1) Review the AVSED resources for educators (www.faa.gov/education/educators) and students (www.faa.gov/education/students).
(2) If you don’t already know any, find nearby schools. The National Center for Education Statistics has an online system for searching public school districts: nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch.
(3) Pick a school or schools and call the administration(s), explaining your goals and asking for the right point of contact within each school.
(4) Determine their level of interest and consider your own time and capability. You can offer to have your own team members visit for a “special activity” session for certain classes OR simply help connect teachers with AVSED resources.
(5) Do it! If your own team is going to “teach.” Just pick an activity – a good place to start is www.faa.gov/education/students/activities – print out whatever instructions or activity sheets you need, bring along any additional tools (or props from work you can show off) and go walk through it with the kids.
(6) Contact local media, share the experience through your own communications channels or use any other way you can to celebrate the activity.
(7) Follow up! Especially if you’ve just shared resources with the school, but even if you went there personally. Don’t make your engagement a one-time activity.
(8) Tell ARSA!

If you have any questions about school outreach in specific or workforce development efforts in general, contact Vice President of Operations Brett Levanto.



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