Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Kentucky Aviation Teacher Institute Program Wins National Award for KYTC

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, October 09, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker
502-564-2611
 


Aviation principles used in teaching math, science, physics

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A pilot project in the Kentucky Department of Aviation has received national attention for its emphasis on education. 

Governor Fletcher’s Department of Aviation recently won a national award for its innovative approach of teaching aviation principals in Kentucky schools. Pictured are: Deputy Aviation Commissioner Steve Parker, Paige Hankla from the Department of Aviation, Governor Ernie Fletcher, Sean Howard from the Department of Aviation, and Aviation Commissioner Paul Steely.The Kentucky Aviation Teacher Institute, a joint partnership of the Department of Aviation and the Kentucky Department of Education, received the 2007 National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) Center Aviation Educational Program Award.

The institute program was designed to help teachers use aviation to inspire K-12 students to study math and science. 

“Aviation plays an essential role in our future economic growth and overall quality of life,” stated Governor Ernie Fletcher. “Strong communities and sound aviation infrastructure go hand-in-hand. This national award is a prime example of the heightened emphasis that I’ve placed on aviation in Kentucky. The institutes use aviation principles to help teach math, physics and science. It offers enormous educational opportunities for our teachers and students.”

Upon completion of the course, each teacher receives tools and experiments needed to successfully implement the concepts in the classroom. Over the past two years, 200 teachers have participated in eight summer institutes across the commonwealth.

Henry Ogrodzinski, NASAO president and chief executive officer, said he intends to promote the program so that other states can benefit from the outstanding work being done in Kentucky.

“This innovative aerospace education program will be of interest to schools all across the nation,” Ogrodzinski said. “I am deeply impressed by the Kentucky Aviation Teacher Institute which will have a profoundly positive and long term effect on the teachers and students in the state.” 

Initially constructed as two-day training events, institute sessions have expanded to three days at the request of educators.

“We are very excited and motivated about this national award,” said Department of Aviation Commissioner Paul Steely.  “To be recognized nationally is truly an honor.   We want to thank Governor Fletcher for making aviation a top priority in this administration.  The commonwealth will see the benefits of his emphasis on aviation, and aviation education, for decades to come."

Numerous states nominated aviation education programs for the NASAO award, but Kentucky's was selected as best in the nation by an independent board of aviation association professionals and the Federal Aviation Administration.  The award was announced at the NASAO annual conference in Portland, Ore.

Sean Howard and Paige Hankla, both of the Department of Aviation and both of whom are graduates of the four-year aviation program at Eastern Kentucky University, were most instrumental in creating the institute program and preparing the award nomination.

To learn more, visit www.transportation.ky.gov/Aviation/ or call (502)564-4480.

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Photo cutline: Governor Fletcher’s Department of Aviation recently won a national award for its innovative approach of teaching aviation principals in Kentucky schools.  Pictured are: Deputy Aviation Commissioner Steve Parker, Paige Hankla from the Department of Aviation, Governor Ernie Fletcher, Sean Howard from the Department of Aviation, and Aviation Commissioner Paul Steely.