CAP has a proud tradition of humanitarian and educational service to all who want to learn about the wonders of aerospace. CAP continues to fulfill its 1946 charter from Congress to enhance Aerospace Education for CAP members, for America’s schools, and for the general public. CAP carries out its Aerospace Education mission with curriculum tailored for its regular membership (internal) and educators (external). The internal programs ensure that all CAP members (adults and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. CAP’s external Aerospace Education initiatives are designed for educators in school systems throughout the nation.
Internal Aerospace Education
The internal program is concerned with two factors: (1) the Aerospace Education portion of CAP Cadet Programs, and (2) Aerospace Education activities for the senior members of Civil Air Patrol. Within Cadet Programs, Aerospace education is accomplished through self-study and instructional sessions using the textbook, Aerospace: The Flight of Discovery and through aerospace current events reports and activities during unit meetings. Cadets must pass comprehensive aerospace education exams as they advance through each award: Mitchell, Earhart, Eaker, and Spaatz.
For the senior membership, a voluntary self-study program is available to those individuals who want to increase their understanding of aerospace-related activities. This voluntary program is the Aerospace Education Program for Senior Members (AEPSM). The AEPSM is based on study of the textbook, Aerospace: The Challenge, and use of the accompanying study guide. When a senior member completes his or her study of these materials, a comprehensive examination is administered. Successful completion of the AEPSM earns the Brigadier General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Achievement Award. Senior members with an Aerospace Education avocation can fulfill their staff and specialty service within CAP by becoming Aerospace Education specialists. The Aerospace Education specialists support Cadet Programs, Senior Programs, and external programs through various instructional means.
External Aerospace Education
CAP’s Aerospace Education membership is an exclusive category for education professionals. A professional Aerospace Education staff develops textbooks, lesson plans, and school curriculum in support of its Aerospace Education members. In addition, CAP hosts a number of workshops throughout the country, as well as the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education.
CAP is extremely proud to help our nation’s schools. Each year, thousands of free educational products are distributed to teachers across the nation. These products also are used to support other educational activities such as teacher workshops, educational conventions, conferences, air shows, and aviation days.
Teachers may order additional classroom support materials through a 48-page catalog. Educational products can be ordered with a special discount for teachers and shipped for delivery within 48 hours.
In addition, many of CAP’s educational resources can be accessed on line at www.capnhq.gov. Developing and enhancing the educational skills of teachers is an ongoing and significant portion of Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Education program. Each year, CAP promotes basic and advanced graduate-level Aerospace Education workshops for hundreds of teachers. Instructional modules prepare teachers to use aerospace themes and techniques to teach science, mathematics, geography, history, social science, art, literature and music. Civil Air Patrol sponsors field trips to historic aviation sites, aerospace research laboratories, and air and space facilities to augment these workshops. To complement the workshops, orientation flights are often arranged with the U.S. Air Force. These flights expose teachers to the challenges of aerospace missions and help promote an understanding of the career opportunities available in today’s Air Force so they may better inform their students.
Each year, CAP hosts the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education. The Congress is the premier Aerospace Education event in the nation and is one of CAP’s major contributions to aviation and space progress in America. Teachers receive information and practical training on how to more effectively motivate their students and prepare them for an increasingly complex world.
One of the main purposes of the Congress is to generate an appreciation and understanding of how aviation research and space exploration have contributed to technological development in our society. Space is a frontier that mankind has barely pierced, and CAP believes the continuation of America’s supremacy in this arena will require the support of a well-informed and educated citizenry.
Presented annually since 1968, this educational symposium brings together educators from around the nation to enjoy a diversity of gifted speakers and motivational teachers. Aerospace-oriented hands-on/minds-on classroom activities for all grade levels are offered in a variety of break-out sessions. Educators enhance their careers and benefit their students by exploring the latest tools, topics, and techniques in the field of Aerospace Education.