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EAA and 'Project Lead the Way' Collaborate to Boost Aerospace Engineering, Flight Education


EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (April 12, 2006) — A new collaboration between the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) will provide comprehensive pre-engineering education programming to more than 1,600 schools nationwide to advance aerospace engineering and flight education.

This joint project will bring together EAA's extensive youth education programs, including flight programs and online aviation courses, with Project Lead The Way's aerospace engineering coursework in high schools and middle schools. The effort includes collaborative programs during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006, The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, which takes place July 24-30 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis.

"The potential for collaboration in expanding our respective programs around the theme of aviation and aerospace is exciting," said Dr. Lee Siudzinski, Vice President of Education for EAA. "Imagine the reinforcement of learning about aviation and aerospace by actually flying and meeting all FAA written requirements to become a pilot! The collaboration of our two initiatives will result in increased opportunities for young people."

EAA will provide partial scholarships to its Aeroscholars online courses to PLTW students. Aeroscholars was developed in conjunction with Utah Valley State College to offer college-credit aviation science courses to high school students. The advanced aviation science course also prepares students to take the FAA Private Pilot written exam, the critical first step toward a private pilot license.

Project Lead The Way, working in collaboration with NASA, has introduced new aerospace engineering coursework in both its high school and middle school programs. The Aerospace Engineering high school course provides students a learning opportunity in the application of basic engineering and design principles to projects and problems in aerospace science, while Flight and Space at the middle school level offers an introduction to the subject in a hands-on format.

"Students exiting our Aerospace engineering course will have the opportunity for further related experiences in the field, something that PLTW endorses wholeheartedly," said Niel Tebbano, PLTW Director of Operations. "The American aerospace industry is looking at a severe shortage of aerospace engineers in the next decade. This collaboration of quality programs in the field will contribute to the solution of that issue."

Project Lead The Way will also be participating at the annual Teacher's Day at EAA AirVenture on Thursday, July 27, which is attended by over 1,000 teachers annually.

EAA's commitment to youth aviation initiatives is unmatched in the aviation community. It is led by the Young Eagles program, through which EAA members and local chapters have provided free flights to more than 1.2 million youth since 1992.

Project Lead the Way is a not-for-profit organization that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle- and high-school students. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our educational system. More information is available at the project's website (www.pltw.org).

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. EAA AirVenture information is also available through the World Wide Web at www.airventure.org.

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