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EAA, National Flight Academy, Announce Joint Youth Aviation Learning Support

Tom Poberezny and Gerald Hoewing
EAA’s Poberezny (left) and retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Gerald (Gerry) Hoewing, president of The National Flight Academy (NFA), visit following signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between EAA and NFA at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo.

April 15, 2010 — EAA today signed a memorandum of understanding with the National Flight Academy of Pensacola, Fla., establishing a relationship to support aviation education programs that engage and motivate young people. The agreement, signed at the annual Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo at Lakeland, Fla., will allow EAA and the National Flight Academy to explore all opportunities to integrate and jointly promote their programs that bring the world of flight to a new generation. Read more

In signing the MOU, EAA Chairman and President Tom Poberezny said, “This signing is important because EAA and The National Flight Academy (NFA) have complimentary purposes….to help fulfill the dreams of youth by enriching opportunities for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) training using aviation as a teaching tool, while at the same time exposing more students to the opportunities within aviation.”

Poberezny stated that the NFA will have a major presence at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011, at which time EAA members will be able to sign up their sons and daughters to become participants in the NFA’s inaugural year classes starting in 2012. NFA’s residence programs will be geared for students in grades 7 through 12.

Along with Young Eagles and the newly expanded offerings for those participants, EAA has established programs such as the annual EAA Air Academy residence camps in Oshkosh, and a variety of education programs based through the organization’s local chapters and through the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh.

As part of the agreement, EAA will support the National Flight Academy’s efforts to establish a leading aviation learning experience based in Pensacola that uses flight to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and math.

The National Flight Academy, which will open in early 2012, will be located adjacent to the National Naval Aviation Museum on Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. The Academy, however, is not owned, operated or funded by the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense. The goal is to create 5½-day residence programs for seventh- through 12th-grade students each year, plus shorter weekend sessions, which emphasize sciences, problem-solving and team-building in a way that inspires learning and discovery through flight.

“The declining performance of American students in STEM curriculums and the declining number of college students choosing hard technology majors in college shows the need for new ways to engage students in STEM coursework,” said retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing, president of the National Flight Academy. “EAA’s outreach to both the aviation community and to young people through Young Eagles and other programs makes it a partner that can help us raise interest in aviation as well as discovery of the sciences and engineering.”

Poberezny added, “This agreement is more than a memorandum of understanding; it is the start of a relationship that focuses on providing opportunities for young men and women to immerse themselves in aviation while advancing their science, technology, engineering and mathematical training.  It marries EAA’s passion for aviation with NFA’s energy to improve participation in STEM courses. This joint use of both EAA’s and NFA’s great resources will become another important part of the next step in EAA’s Young Eagles program.”

More information regarding the National Flight Academy is available through its website at www.nationalflightacademy.com.

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