Aviation and Aerospace Program

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The Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) has partnered with the local aviation and aerospace industry to offer a unique training experience. Fourteen grade 11 students arrived at the Peterborough Airport with enthusiasm, eagerness, and excitement while also feeling a bit scared of this brand new experience.

Despite being away from their friends for the whole day with a new teacher, one classroom and airplanes landing all day long, the students dug in their heels and quickly bonded to form a closely-knit crew that built the tables and benches, unpacked tools and formed the physical space that is the Aviation and Aerospace Specialist High Skills Major Technology Centre.

“The strength of this program is that we have incredible support from our community partners in the industry.”

… Tammy Horton – Vice-principal, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School

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The students experienced numerous field trips, hosted many guest speakers, and engaged in contextual learning. Many of the field trips were afternoons spent walking from one side of the Peterborough Airport to the other, investigating the many styles and types of local aircraft.

The many hands-on projects included learning how to use and install solid rivets, designing and building galvanized metal bi-planes, taking part in a Dual Credit course through Seneca College and designing and building a remote control foam plane.

“Another key attribute of the program is that the classroom is right at the airport and students graduate with accreditation, certificates and on-the-job skills that employers will find attractive. We are very excited about our program.”

… Tammy Horton – Vice-principal, Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School

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Of the eleven grade 12 students that graduated the program, six are going on to aviation-related College programs.

The program helped the high school to achieve increased enrolment, an increase to the overall graduation rate and to prepare students for the future labour market. It also served to increase parent understanding of career-life planning and the resources available to assist teens in choosing post-secondary pathways.

The Specialist High Skills Major certificate provides the students with evidence of their achievement of the required components, e.g. sector-recognized certifications and training programs, to prospective employers and post-secondary educational or training institutions.

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A ‘Learning to 18’ grant of $12,500 supported the program financially. The school board’s communications team developed a Communication/Marketing Plan to promote the initiative, which included accessing local television and radio outlets.

The program’s success was confirmed using surveys, focus groups and on-line evaluations. Partly because of its uniqueness, the Aviation and Aerospace Program received extensive media coverage. It was first offered in January 2014 with one class and that was expanded to two classes in September 2014.

Here are two video links:

SPECIALIST HIGH SKILLS MAJOR/GET READY FOR TAKE OFF

AVIATION AND AEROSPACE PROGRAM

HOLY CROSS AVIATION PROGRAM READY TO SOAR

 

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