Hood River Soaring is submitting a grant application to the FAA’s Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program – Aircraft Pilots.
Grant Proposal Abstract:
Triple A STEM Through Soaring is a new program offered by Hood River Soaring which will meet and complete the goals of FY20 FAA Aviation Workforce Development Grant Program – Aircraft Pilots, Aerospace Engineers, and unmanned Aircraft systems (“Triple A STEM”). HRS is in a unique position to link the youth and the education system together. The main goals of the proposed Triple A STEM through Soaring program are:
- Awareness, Education, and Relevance: Prepare approximately 35 Columbia Gorge Area high school students and educators to become professional aviators, aerospace engineers, and unmanned aircraft systems operators.
- Accessibility to Pilot Skills: Offer 18 flight training scholarships; 6 to Teachers, and 12 to high School students to subsidize their summer FAA Private Pilot Glider Certificate training at Hood River Soaring, with the goal of recruiting students from traditionally marginalized communities.
- Create a Triple A STEM think tank for educators and students to continually help brainstorm aviation and aerospace course work, ideas, programming, and funding.
The work proposed below is a complete project and was developed from meetings between CFIGs at Hood River Soaring and the principals and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teachers from four high schools of the bi-state (Oregon and Washington) Columbia Gorge Area; Horizon Christian School (Hood River, OR), Hood River Valley High School (Hood River, OR), The Dalles High School (The Dalles, OR) and Columbia High School (White Salmon, WA). A Hood River-based homeschooling high school group also attended. The proposed steps of this complete project are:
- Provide a 12-week Glider Ground School that includes lectures from professional Aviators, Aerospace engineers, and unmanned Aircraft systems operators, with soaring simulator lab course to approximately 10 local high school teachers and 25 high school students beginning in January 2022.
- Award 18 glider flight training scholarships to 6 teachers and 12 twelve students from the class with scholarship award selection weighted towards desire, female gender, and students representing traditionally marginalized communities, such as students qualifying for free/reduced lunch, and ethnic minorities. Scholarships will be utilized during the immediate summer break following the course.
- This group of STEM teachers and students will form a think tank that will collaborate with HRS to create course topics and activities for future lectures in the classroom. They will also help recruit future Triple A STEM Through Soaring students and teachers.
- Repeat Process. Raise funds with private donors and the many Columbia Gorge-based unmanned aircraft systems designers and manufacturers such as Hood Tech or Boeing’s Insitu. Funding from the FAA will serve as seed funding to launch the project. It is our hope that with demonstrated success, we can find additional funding to continue the project long-term.
Triple A Stem Through Soaring has been developed with our local educators to meet both eligible projects per the Authorizing Legislation (A) to create and deliver Curriculum designed to provide high school students with meaningful aviation education that is designed to prepare the students to become aircraft pilots, aerospace engineers, or unmanned aircraft systems operators; or (B) to support the professional development of teachers using the curriculum described in Subparagraph (A).