Seattle’s Aviation High School Serves as an Inspirational Example for Educators to Emulate

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ARTICLE: Aviation High students land in their new school

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Aviation faces a number of challenges—pilot and mechanic shortages, the need for further innovation both in the basic technology and operations, etc. This article about a new school and the fantastic educational tools that are associated with the building. If nothing else, this educational initiative will stimulate students to pursue STEM subjects which AIA is promoting.

The Seattle Times box summary of this new educational opportunity is impressive as to the corporate support, the curriculum, the composition of the student body and the competition for admission—

Raisbeck Aviation High School

What: A four-year, aviation-themed public high school specializing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics on the grounds of the Museum of Flight.

Admission: competitive admission (including transcripts, essays and interviews). Last year, 1 out of 3 applicants were accepted.

Students: About 18 percent qualify for free and reduced price lunch. Almost 59 percent are white, 18 percent are Asian, 10 percent are Hispanic, and almost 5 percent are black. Girls comprise 37 percent of the enrollment.

Funding sources: State (9 percent); Port of Seattle (23%); Highline Public Schools (32%); federal (1%); private individuals and foundations (35%).

Major corporate donors: Boeing Company, Raisbeck Engineering, Alaska Airlines. Raisbeck Aviation High School, Highline Public Schools and The Museum of Flight.

As positive as those facts, the truly inspirational aspect of this article is the writer’s choice of Skye Mceowen as an example. Her enthusiasm for aviation, her drive/dedication and her vision for the future are all exemplary. What is the most compelling nature of her tale is her internship. The aptly named Skye is with Planetary Resources, a Bellevue-based startup, an asteroid-mining company.

Certainly, standing on the sands of Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wright Brothers probably did not think that their efforts would launch future aviators to aspire to mine asteroids, but it is that energy and innovation present then which will propel our business for the next 100 years.

Congratulations to the founders, supporters and students of Raisbeck Aviation High School and hopefully their example will inspire other communities/institutions to replicate.

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