The Academy of Model Aeronautics is a nonprofit community of enthusiasts who come together to celebrate model aviation. To do this, the AMA has many departments devoted to different areas of our favorite hobby. For example, Member and Club Services manage individual and club memberships, the Government Team handles government advocacy for members, and the Publications Department edits and oversees the very magazine you are reading right now. The AMA could not successfully cover all facets of model aviation without the effort of all of its teams; there is far too much work to be done to advocate for, celebrate, and educate about model aviation.
The Education Team provides a variety of resources to current and prospective members. The AMA Education Blog updates readers regularly about aviation related topics, such as AMA’s UAS4STEM Sponsored by Skydio and Heavy Lift Challenges, Camp AMA, the TRUST exam, educational lesson plans, and updates from other AMA teams. The Education Team also manages the UAS4STEM Sponsored by Skydio Blog, which provides prospective UAS4STEM Sponsored by Skydio teams with the knowledge they need to ensure they’re prepared to compete, as well as updating current teams on any new news or changes to the rulebook and competition.
The Education Team also creates engaging and entertaining lesson plans, or Quick Projects, that cover various aviation concepts. At the time of writing, there are sixteen elementary-aged Quick Projects and ten preschool Quick Projects. Quick Projects cover a variety of aviation topics, including, but not limited to, energy, lift, drag, friction, thrust, and gravity. Elementary-aged students can build hovercrafts, launch paper rockets that look like mice, cut gliders out of foam plates, go on a scavenger hunt, and fold flying origami turkeys, bats, and hearts!
Preschool Quick Projects are 4-step lesson plans that include read-alouds, group discussions, aviation-related activities, and summary scripts to wrap up the lesson and allow educators to easily transition out of the lesson. Preschool Quick Projects allow young learners to learn about plants that fly, aircraft sounds, counting, and so much more! The Education Team utilizes current Next Generation Science Standards to ensure that these lessons are appropriate and valuable in the classroom setting; however, these Quick Projects can also be done successfully at home! The supplies required for Quick Projects are common household items that are easy to find, so any young aviator can do these activities in either an educational setting or for their own enjoyment. Quick Projects come with complete and detailed instructions to ensure that students can easily do the activity and stay engaged during the process. The Quick Project Flight School page also houses ten General Mills paper cardstock WWII aircraft paper models such as, but not limited to, the P-47, the MK-1, the FW-190, the Fulmer, and the Spitfire. These resources, as well as plenty of other educational resources, can be accessed at our AMA Flight School.
The Education Team is also tasked with sending out the AMA Alpha and AMA Beta to interested aviators. These free flight aircraft were designed by world-class aeromodeller Rob Romash to be the best kits of their kind. The AMA Alpha and AMA Beta teach and demonstrate the principles of aerodynamics. They do this though associated classroom lessons geared towards middle and high school aviators. These durable models are built for both indoor and outdoor flights. They are easy to assemble and come with all the necessary materials for building, including a winder for easier flight preparations. Both models can be found on the Flight School site. The Alpha costs $21.95 and the Beta costs $29.95.
The Education Team values community outreach and involvement. From time to time, local educational organizations, such as museums or elementary schools, will reach out to the AMA Education Team to ask for any involvement in an upcoming event. If the team has the time and the resources to make a trip to a local STEAM event, then we’ll pack up some supplies and happily head over.
We typically bring the necessary supplies to make FPG-9s with participants. FPGs, or Foam Plate Gliders, are free-flight gliders made from foam plates. The lesson plan and template to make your own FPG-9 can be found for free on the Flight School site mentioned above. We may also sometimes bring a Tiny Whoop drone and the accompanying First Person View (FPV) Goggles to increase youth interest in model aviation.
If an organization is too far from Headquarters for the Education Team to make a trip to their event or the Education Team is unable to make it to an event, we are more than happy to put together a kit and send it to you! These kits include balsa gliders and education handouts so you can introduce your members to model aviation in a fun and engaging way.
The educational handouts include information about the history and values of the AMA, Model Aviation Student Clubs (MASCs), and Flight School. We may also throw some AMA goodies in there, like pens or koozies! If you are throwing an event and would like to introduce attendees to the AMA and model aviation, please make sure to reach out and let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you to ensure that you receive the necessary materials and resources.
We are able to offer these educational resources thanks to the help of our dedicated members through a variety of methods. Part of AMA membership fees help to cover the AMA Education Team’s outreach endeavors. The AMA Foundation is also able to assist the Education Team in providing these resources thanks to direct donations from AMA members. The Foundation also supports the educational mission through the solicitation of grants which provides a boost to our efforts. The money we receive from the sales of Alphas and Betas also funds our educational outreach efforts. So, in closing, thank you AMA members. Without you, we here at the Academy of Model Aeronautics wouldn’t be able to help nearly as many others take flight and accomplish their dreams.