Western Mass Wright Flight introduces students in grades 7 through 12 to the field of aviation, its history, the principles of flight, and the many career opportunities available in the aviation industry. The program emphasizes the relationship between a strong educational program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and a successful career. Our Aviation STEM Program is provided to students in Westfield, Southwick, Granville, and Tolland, MA and supports the STEM goals of the local middle and high schools. A volunteer organization based out of Barnes Airport in Westfield, MA, we are the educational unit of the Barnes Airport Support Group, a 501 (C) (3) organization.
By grooming an interest in aviation at an early age, and providing educational opportunities for students from middle school to college, our program contributes to the development of a larger educated work force for companies seeking highly qualified employees. This cycle of a large educated work force attracting more businesses, which hire more people, who improve the economic foundation of the region is good for everyone.
We also emphasize high personal standards such as abstaining from drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
The program emphasizes the importance of setting goals, developing plans to attain those goals, and understanding the need to develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The program also seeks to recruit and integrate students of diversity into the aviation industry.
Many college students are changing their majors from the hard sciences (STEM) to soft science majors. More than 50% of all engineering doctoral degrees awarded by U. S. engineering colleges are to foreign nationals. The majority of these foreign nationals are returning to their home country.
If this country is to maintain its role as an aviation leader we must introduce students to the many careers in aviation at an early age. We must emphasize the importance of setting goals and achieving high academic standards in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
The number of engineering degrees awarded in the United States is down 20% from the peak in 1985. Lockheed Martin reports that currently 90,000 engineers are needed each year. Only 60,000 engineers are available. It is estimated that the aviation industry will need 466,650 pilots and 596,500 maintenance personnel over the next 20 years. We must introduce students at an early age to the many careers this field if this country is to maintain its role as an aviation leader.
We believe this Aviation STEM Program contributes to the development of the next generation of aviation leaders and the preservation of the United States’ strategic knowledge base.
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