AMA’s Flight Kit Initiative

Education Through Aviation

By Kyle Jaracz, AMA Education Director | kylej@modelaircraft.org

Thanks to the hard work and initiative of AMA’s Education team and the AMA Foundation staff, we’re thrilled to announce the award of a Ball Brothers Foundation grant that will benefit the local community of AMA’s International Aeromodeling Center (IAC). AMA thanks the Ball Brothers Foundation for investing in local initiatives that provide opportunities to the youth in this community by providing these engaging kits that help local youth take advantage of high-quality and proven educational resources developed at the IAC in Muncie.

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Each flight kit serves as a gateway to the joy of flight, guiding students through experiential adventures that delve into aerodynamics, model aircraft construction, motion, energy, and more. Designed to be accessible, these kits provide all necessary materials (excluding a few common supplies), along with step-by-step instructions, templates, and online access to captivating instructional videos. Furthermore, students gain exposure to exclusive interviews with world-class aviation and aerospace professionals, many of whom began their careers in model aviation.

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AMA has been a proponent of STE(A)M education even before this term was coined. Each time a person designs, constructs, and flies a model, they touch on every aspect of STE(A)M. This program fills a gap at the local K to 8 level by providing hands-on, positive, educational experiences during formative years in a way that is accessible and community-focused.

Looking at the bigger picture, there is a critical nationwide need for turnkey programs that introduce aviation at the discovery phase of learning. By providing model aviation experiences to youth, we develop important competencies while also reaching traditionally underserved populations.

Elementary and secondary education in science and mathematics is the foundation for student entry into postsecondary STE(A)M majors, as well as a variety of STE(A)M-related occupations. Boeing recently forecasted that “… the global aviation industry will need to keep a sharp focus and engage in collective efforts to build a robust, diverse talent pipeline through more educational outreach and recruitment, and development of new pathways to aviation careers.”

The model aviation experiences provided by these proposed flight kits endow skills that ultimately prepare students for technical careers. These educational, fun projects will serve to expand the knowledge and experiences of each student, further strengthening the community by providing new skills and potential opportunities to youth.

To learn more or to experience these free resources for yourself, visit the AMA Jr. Camp 2021 or the AMA Jr. Camp 2022 pages where you’ll find all the links for free resources as well as how to purchase a flight kit for those who may be interested in conducting these lessons.

As we celebrate the good work we’re accomplishing locally within our community, we encourage our members across the nation to identify opportunities to share our hobby within their communities. We’re always happy to discuss opportunities to do so and look forward to supporting you, the members of AMA, with quality materials and information to ensure your success.

See you at the flying field!

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