STEM-based aviation curriculum to be offered at Seminole High School

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Seminole High School is implementing a new curriculum focused on the second-leading industry in the State of Oklahoma — aeronautics.

The Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) developed the innovative curriculum, set to begin in the fall of 2021 at SHS. The curriculum is designed to provide high-quality STEM-based aviation education to high school students and open the door to a variety of aviation careers.

AOPA created the curriculum as part of two career and technical education pathways: Pilot and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones). The courses are designed to capture students’ imagination, offer hands-on activities and give students from diverse backgrounds the tools to pursue advanced education and careers in a variety of aviation-related fields, including aeronautical engineering, professional piloting, mechanics, and more

According to Seminole Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bob Gragg, the curriculum will complement many career opportunities available in Seminole and surrounding communities. “These courses are a great addition to the high school curriculum, because of the local careers available to students,” said Dr. Gragg.

Echoing the thoughts of Dr. Gragg, SHS Assistant Principal McKayla Plett stated, “We are extremely excited to provide this opportunity to the students of Seminole. With so many aviation careers available right here in Seminole, this curriculum is a natural fit to our community.”

Seminole High School will begin implementing the new STEM curriculum in the 2021-2022 school year by offering courses that introduce students to aeronautics and aviation. The AOPA curriculum is designed for easy expansion, and additional courses are expected to be added in subsequent school years.

Select schools in Oklahoma were among the first in the nation to field test and implement the curriculum and it has been a resounding success in many communities, according to Paula Kedy of the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. Kedy visited SHS in November when school administrators began preparing to implement the new curriculum.

Also expanding this fall is the ongoing partnership between Seminole Public Schools and Gordon Cooper Technology Center.

“Gordon Cooper Technology Center is an active partner in Oklahoma's Aeronautics Industry,” said Gordon Cooper Superintendent Roger Farris. “The school supplies up to 40 trained aircraft mechanics to many different aerospace companies each year. Gordon Cooper is looking forward to working closely with Seminole Public Schools as they develop and implement their own Aerospace program.”

SHS Principal Wade Rigney said enhancing opportunities in the STEM fields- science, technology, engineering, and math- will better prepare Seminole students for success after graduation, both in the workforce and in college.

To learn more about the new curriculum opportunities, high school students and parents are encouraged to visit with one of the guidance counselors during enrollment or speak with Mrs. Plett or Mr. Rigney. For additional details about the AOPA and its curriculum, visit www.AOPA.org/Curriculum