The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Estes Industries and the National Association for Teaching Science (NSTA) have teamed up to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through a new multi-year initiative that will lead to an aerospace research initiative. education in thousands of classrooms across the country.
The Exploration Generation (ExGen) program, launched in April, will provide K-12 teachers with free lesson plans and curriculum storylines to help students navigate the various concepts of aerospace, engineering and rocketry. High-quality professional learning experiences will also be designed to support teachers ’use of ExGen teaching materials.
Although the U.S. aerospace and defense industry is a world leader in innovation, it faces labor challenges: a shortage of skills among STEM-Lite literate students entering the industry, the need for greater participation of women and ethnic minorities, and a growing knowledge gap after early retirement.
Based on AIAA Industry State Report for 2021Nearly 50 percent of respondents believe that greater aerospace employers ’focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion will help increase the number of skilled, competent aerospace professionals.
“We are thrilled with our collaboration with Estes and NSTA to inspire a new generation of space age. Our shared commitment to strengthening the aerospace profession inspires us to inspire the future workforce, ”said Dan Dambacher, AIAA Executive Director. “We all recognize the need for a diverse and robust next-generation STEM that uses what they learn today to innovate and invent tomorrow. These new resources will help even more teachers join us in shaping the future of the aerospace industry. ”