The Issue: Decline of STEM Scores in Schools
Students in the United States are testing lower than their peers in other countries in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In an educational ranking of 64 countries, 15-year-olds from the United States tied for 24th place in math literacy and for 19th place in science literacy, according to a 2009 report from the US Department of Education. Hands-on activities and experiments in math and science can bring a dull topic to life, however, and help children understand that these subjects are something worth taking an interest in.
The Campaign: Sponsoring a Flight-Training Summer Camp
If 20 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy can sponsor two Austin-area students from low-income families in a flight-training summer camp. Each additional $100 raised will sponsor an additional student in the program.
Summer camps send students flying with hands-on science and math problems, aviation activities, and realistic flight simulations. Students might spend the morning charting a course to a destination while accounting for weather, geography, and aerodynamic forces, and then spend the afternoon attempting to complete that mission in the simulator. Learning the theory and immediately seeing it in practice can help reinforce STEM topics and get students interested in new career paths such as structural engineering and aerospace sciences.
Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy
Every Thursday after school, middle-school students across the city “pick a place they’d like to go and experience it from 2,000 feet above the ground,” reports local CBS affiliate KXAN. Desktop flight simulators allow these kids to maneuver over the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore, follow navigational charts, and land on an ocean-bound aircraft carrier.
Private pilot Zay Collier founded this program, Phoenix Arising Aviation Academy, to help young people from low-income backgrounds learn how to fly and engage in STEM education. Along with flight simulation, the students in afterschool programs and summer camps learn about the math, geography, and physics necessary to fly by participating in practical lessons: building a compass or predicting a course based on speed and distance. Adult programs also focus on the nuts and bolts of flight with glass-cockpit, instrument, and proficiency training.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.