Aviation Training Consultants: 800-874-5346
Aviation Training Consultants: 800-874-5346

STEM Aviation Education Soars at FETC 2020

News > STEM Aviation Education Soars at FETC 2020
A teacher uses the Gleim Virtual Cockpit™ to learn about aircraft control and the fundamentals of flight with Gleim Chief Instructor, Paul Duty.

Miami, FL – The 40th annual Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), which was held January 15-17, 2020, brought educators from around the world together to marvel at the latest classroom technology. According to FETC, “[the] conference has gathered the most dynamic and innovative education leaders and professionals from around the world for an intensive, highly collaborative exploration of new technologies, best practices and pressing issues.”

Gleim Aviation introduced aviation education programs to hundreds of attendees looking for new opportunities in career technology education (CTE). Educators, administrators, and ed-tech professionals experienced the magic of flight by “flying” the Gleim Virtual Cockpit™ flight simulator. For most, it was their first time at the flight controls, but they were eager to try. Heart rates raced as they attempted to land a virtual Cessna 172 while immersed in nearly 6 feet of panoramic displays. With a little assistance, most of the new virtual pilot were successful. Some of our “test pilots,” however, needed a second try to show that they could learn from their mistakes.

A teacher flying the Virtual Cockpit for the first time (with some assistance).

In the aviation industry, the talk of a looming pilot shortage has created tremendous career opportunities, and for more than just aspiring pilots. Careers are booming for instructors, maintenance technicians, engineers, air traffic controllers, and support personal in nearly every aviation field. The anticipated labor shortage has not only increased pay scales, but has made it easier to move up quickly within aviation career fields.

A STEM lab teacher learns how to land an airplane using the simulator.

Aviation in the classroom is not a new idea, but with burgeoning career opportunities in the aviation industry, there is increasing interest in adding aviation courses to schools and expanding existing programs. The majority of pilots surveyed decided at an early age that they wanted to become pilots. This fact, along with the latest developments in CTE, is allowing for the rapid expansion of aviation in the classroom. By creating opportunities for students to pursue their interest, STEM aviation aims to both address the labor shortage and help young adults on the route to landing their dream jobs.

Over the past few years, Gleim Aviation has introduced a library of new STEM resources to assist educators who are interested in teaching aviation. These resources, many of which are free, can be found at the Gleim Aviation STEM Resource Hub. Here is some of what is available:

  • Professional development courses. The Gleim Online Ground School can help teachers become FAA Ground Instructors without any prior aviation experience.
  • Free aviation courses. The Wonders of Aviation Course is designed to introduce new students to aviation through 7 educational study units. The Gleim Safe Pilot Course is your first stop on the road to becoming a better, safer pilot.
  • Learn to Fly booklets. This booklet has been used by millions of aviators to learn about what it takes to become a pilot, how airplanes fly, aviation career options, and aviation industry resources
  • Aviation articles. Gleim blog articles are excellent resources for teachers to use for assignments and inspiration. We carefully curate topics which can be used by students.

If you’re interested in learning more about Gleim Aviation online courses that can be used for professional development, check out this video highlighting options for STEM aviation educators:

Next year, the Future of Education Technology Conference will return to the Orlando Convention Center on January 26-29, 2021.

For more information about STEM aviation education, visit the STEM Resource Hub or contact a Gleim Aviation Training Consultant at 800-874-5346, ext. 471.

Written by Paul Duty, Gleim Aviation Chief Instructor and Aviation Product Manager

A group of students at FETC gather around the Gleim Virtual Cockpit™ Ultimate Set, waiting for their turn to take a test flight.

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