Published on : Monday, December 9, 2013
ARINC Incorporated today announced that it has partnered with the Anne Arundel County Public School System (AACPS) to develop a class on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) for students participating in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) magnet program. The course is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation for high school students.
“The class, co-developed and taught by Rolf Stefani, Senior Director of ARINC’s Technology Innovation Center and Rob Tompkins, technical education teacher at South River High School, is part of the STEM and Project Lead the Way program which focuses on aerospace and civil engineering. The class builds on the aerodynamics and aerospace courses students have previously taken, and extends that knowledge into the emerging and rapidly growing field of UASs.
The course content covers topics such as defining what unmanned aerial systems are, the different components of flight dynamics, essential guidelines for flight safety, and the theories behind telemetry, amongst other subjects. The class also focuses on the commercial uses of UASs for activities such as agriculture, search and rescue missions, and transportation. The course involves collaborative problem solving and project-based learning, and integrates different subjects such as engineering, computer science, and electronics into the work being done by the students.
“We are incredibly excited about the class that Mr. Stefani has helped develop for our program,” said Fran Magiera, Assistant Principal at South River High School. “As a former pilot and air traffic controller, and with his involvement in automating international air traffic control systems, he brings a tremendous amount of real world aviation knowledge and experience to the STEM program. The class is on the cutting edge of new technologies and markets, and we believe it provides a tremendous learning experience for our students.’
“The class is founded in science and engineering, but is still fun and interesting,” said Stefani. “We go beyond theory to engage students by, for example, building and then actually flying small UASs to demonstrate the theory of flight. It’s rather challenging to build your own UAS, and it exposes the students to a number of different disciplines. Our goal is to use innovative ways to teach highly complex subject matter that has applications in the real world.”
In addition to Mr. Stefani’s time developing and teaching the course, ARINC has contributed funds to purchase equipment and supplies for the class. “ARINC is a leader in the aviation industry and we provide communications, engineering, and integration solutions for commercial and government customers worldwide,” said John M. Belcher, Chairman and CEO of ARINC Incorporated. “Being based in Maryland, we feel like it is part of our corporate responsibility to support our schools wherever and whenever we can. We are proud to be contributing to the education of the future leaders of our community,” commented Belcher.
ARINC Incorporated, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group, provides communications, engineering and integration solutions for commercial and government customers worldwide. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland with regional headquarters in London and Singapore, ARINC is ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100:2009 Rev C certified.
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