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Georgia Air, Space expands program school-wide at Henderson Mill Elementary School

DeKalb County

Georgia Air, Space expands program school-wide at Henderson Mill Elementary School

The Georgia Air and Space ASPIRE Education Program is partnering with Henderson Mill Elementary School to offer the program to students in grades K-5. Photo courtesy of the Inspire Aviation Foundation/Georgia Air & Space Museum.

Chamblee, GA  — The Georgia Air and Space ASPIRE Education Program announced a partnership with Henderson Mill Elementary School, making the school the first in Georgia to offer the program school-wide from kindergarten to fifth grade.

ASPIRE, Aerospace STEAM Program Inspiring through Real-world Experiences, is designed to help students reach their potential in the aviation world through real-world stories with embedded grade-level appropriate Georgia Standards of Excellence math and science curriculum, according to a press release.

The format allows students to immerse themselves in the action by solving problems alongside heroes in the stories. Through the program, students expand their vocabulary, practice crucial brainstorming and teamwork skills, get a glimpse at future careers, and improve critical thinking.

Currently, ASPIRE is taught by teachers in several classrooms across the metro Atlanta area, but Henderson Mill Elementary is the first to expand across all grade levels. The school was also the first school in the state to earn STEAM certification in 2017.

“We were excited to introduce our Henderson Mill students to the ASPIRE curriculum,” Principal Cassandra Moore said in the press release. “Our students were able to apply our math fundamentals skill, expand our vocabulary and participate in teamwork challenges. This opportunity exposed our students to the wide range of aviation-related careers and opportunities in aviation.  We felt exposing elementary students to aviation early may open their minds to a future in a STEM related career.”

Latessa Meader, director of the ASPIRE program, said they are thrilled to partner with Henderson Mill Elementary.

“The school is continually looking for new ways to engage the students and add value to their education. It was a delight to teach a lesson to each grade level and see the impact of the curriculum in action,” Meader said. “The enthusiasm of the students and the amount of information they retained is truly inspiring.”

She added this was the program’s largest demonstration of scalability to date.

“ASPIRE was written to tell an engaging aviation story, introduce students to a variety of aviation careers, incorporate grade-level appropriate math and science curriculum, and to be taught by any teacher regardless of their aviation knowledge,” Meader said. “With every teacher from kindergarten through fifth grade successfully teaching the week-long ASPIRE curriculum to their students, we were able to demonstrate the ability to open up a new world to those who are often experiencing it for the first time.”

The ASPIRE education program was developed by the Inspire Aviation Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by a group of civilian leaders and aviation professionals dedicated to the goal of bringing an air and space museum and educational center to the Atlanta area and the Southeast. The Inspire Aviation Foundation is currently in the process of finalizing an agreement to lease a hangar and office space at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport to teach the internally developed ASPIRE curriculum, aviation curriculum developed by the Georgia Department of Education, and nationally-recognized curriculum from the EAA and NASA.

It’s estimated that this facility at PDK will be able to host up to 2,500 students in the first school year, as well as provide the ability to run summer aviation camps. At full capacity, the education center aims to impact over 15,000 students a year. This will be the first step toward the long-term goal of the Georgia Air and Space Museum and Education Center — a campus of learning, entertainment, research and development, tourism, economic development, and community involvement.

For more information, visit www.georgiaairandspacemuseum.org

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