The Sky Needs Bus Drivers Too


| Annalise Mcalester

Students in the Aviation Academy sit in class.

As of fall 2022, Norman Public Schools now offers an aviation academy for all high school students interested in exploring or pursuing aviation and aerospace. Norman Public Schools is working with The University of Oklahoma and Moore Norman Technology Center to bring the Aviation Academy of Oklahoma to Norman. This program provides students with a hands-on learning experience in multiple areas of aviation. Director Terry Adams says “Oklahoma Aviation Academy students receive a STEM education themed around Aviation and Aerospace. Each year they will take an Aviation class, deciding on a track with Private Pilot or UAS (Drones) in their 11th and 12th-grade years. In addition, they will be able to take specialty classes in air traffic control, meteorology, airport management, engineering, computer science, cyber security Airframe, and Powerplant mechanics, (A & P), and other STEM-related courses.”

Students can get a head start with this program, as it provides them with connections for future education and careers. There are multiple student flight plans that result in achievements such as a private pilot license, a technical degree as an aviation maintenance technician, or earning college credit. Terry Adams states that “The goal is to prepare students to move into the workforce, technical schools or higher education in the fields of aviation and aerospace,” this will help students to have a plan for their future.

This program is currently located at the Max Westheimer Regional Airport in the OU Aviation and Engineering Building, but when director Terry Adams was asked what he sees for the aviation academy’s future, he replied “we hope to have a building of our own in the coming years and serve 500-700 students per year.” This program is an amazing opportunity for incoming freshmen to explore different career choices and interests as “OAA will take an additional class of Freshman students, approximately 85 each year, until there are four full classes of students in the program,” so any students interested should definitely take a closer look into the aviation academy!