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1 Where Will the Aviation Industry Be Tomorrow? Global reliance on aviation for recreation, business travel, and commerce continues climb- ing. Over the past 10 years, however, interest in aviation for recreation or as a profession has experienced a notable decline. The decline is putting the health of the aviation industry at risk, especially in terms of a greater demand for qualified professionals to staff employment opportunities than there is number of qualified people to fill the positions. The national trends showing this decline are highlighted in this report. Why Is a Resource Needed? The existing pilot shortage is expected to continue. This shortage and the looming short- age of other aviation professionals formed the basis for the problem statement and research that led to the creation of this aviation education resource. This report highlights available careers in the aviation industry, including a sample of possibilities. The report describes the steps many organizations are taking from the federal level to grassroots groups to try to alleviate the barriers to become an aviation professional. Compiling this information in one document provides a single reference for those responsible for actively seeking to develop interest in aviation. Existing aviation enthusiasts and professionals bear the responsibility to inspire the youth of today to become the aviation professionals and enthusiasts of tomorrow. This education resource helps individuals volunteer, mentor, and network, especially with professional educators, to inspire youth to become future aviators or professionals. How Do Professional Educators and Organizations Fit? Aviation enthusiasts, aviation professionals, and educators can work together to pro- mote aviation as a passion or a career. This collaboration creates opportunities for students to gain the hands-on experience that develops interest and passion in aviation. Schools that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as connected disciplines may find activities related to aviation to be a good fit with their core curriculum. Informa- tion about STEM is included relating to potential education activities, incorporating arts (STEAM) into aviation education, and in this document the significance of tying STEM/ STEAM activities to aviation operations (STEAM and O). This education resource discusses various activities that an organization or individual may participate in or host. A key finding of the research is that programs achieve measurable success through overlap between classroom and recreational support and engaging youth from childhood through adulthood in a continual cycle, referred to in this report as a pathway. This report provides S U M M A R Y Developing Innovative Strategies for Aviation Education and Participation
2 Developing Innovative Strategies for Aviation Education and Participation a sample of the various federal, national, and youth organizations involved with designing and providing educational activities, opportunities, and curriculum for the industry. What Exactly Is a Pathway? A pathway consists of the spectrum of activities that can lead from the first exposure to the more detailed interactions, all the way to choosing aviation jobs as a career and then con- tributing to a continual cycle that begins again at the initial level. The success of a pathway will depend on tailoring or adapting the pathway to the specific needs, resources, and situ- ation at hand. The starting point is to plan and implement the six-step aviation education management system described in Chapter 4. Can I See How These Programs Work in Real Life? A key impact of the report is the tool developed expressly as a starting point for indi- viduals and teams interested in being champions, who drive development of educational programming. Compiled interview results were used to create a PDF to be used as a tool to search activities by keyword. Chapter 7 explains and illustrates the tool. Nearly 100 different entities from around the country engaging in aviation participated in the research inter- views. The collected responses formed the basis of landing pages, which are 1- or 2-page summaries of aviation education programming and curriculum. The landing pages and more detail about how they work are included at the end of this report. Through identifying and ranking the many challenges and opportunities discovered during the interviews, seven case study examples emerged to exemplify different successes in aviation education. These case studies appear in Chapter 6 and share advice, lessons learned, and issues to avoid.