TROY, Ohio—The WACO Learning Center is launching a new multi-year educational program for students 10 to 16 years old.
“WACO Aviation Cadets” rolls the WACO Learning Center’s 10 aviation related educational programs into one cohesive, multi-year curriculum. The new program will offer an entering student a multi-year path to aviation education and activity that will inspire students to set challenging goals and develop their capacity for achievement.
“We want the Aviation Cadet Program to augment what the children are learning in school and help them apply their knowledge in fun and creative ways to aviation related activities,” said Don Willis, a former Air Force Academy professor and the course’s instructor.
The program’s goal is for students to discover they can master difficult technical problems and become motivated to pursue their education and a career in a technical field such as aviation.
Subjects mastered in the 2014-2015 program will be History of Flight, Principles of Flight, Flight Environment and Rockets and Space. Field trips will include Wright Brothers Museum, Air Force Museum and Dayton Airport Tower. Students will build and fly radio controlled aircraft and build and launch rockets, as well as receive an orientation flight in a general aviation aircraft with a certified FAA flight instructor.
“This is a real course,” says Willis, “with a text book and tests to show mastery of each educational block.” It will also include flight training with simulators.
The cadets will meet twice per month from October to May, with one weekday meeting from 4-5:30 p.m. and one Saturday meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Saturday meetings will usually involve a project or field trip to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park or the air traffic control tower at Dayton International Airport.
WACO is accepting applications for the program through Nov. 30. Students must be between 10-16 years of age. A $150 fee will cover all costs. Call the WACO Learning Center at 937 335-9226 to apply or go to www.wacoairmuseum.org for information and an application form.
The Paul G Duke Foundation provided a grant to develop and purchase materials, simulators and computers for the course. The goal is a sustained program that will educate about 20 students each year. An eventual goal is to expand the program to include a pilot training ground school with FAA certification.
The WACO Historical Society operates its learning center and museum on Historic WACO Field to preserve the history of the WACO Aircraft Company, celebrate the Golden Age of Aviation and encourage young people to pursue careers in aviation. Located in Troy, the WACO Aircraft Company was America’s largest manufacturer of civil aircraft in the late 1920s and early ’30.