Chamblee, GA – November 29th, 2022 –The Georgia Air and Space ASPIRE Education Program announced a successful partnership with Henderson Mill Elementary School (HMES), making the school the first in the State of Georgia to offer the program school-wide from kindergarten to fifth grade.
ASPIRE (Aerospace STEAM Program Inspiring through Real-world Experiences) is designed to enable students to reach their true potential in the aviation world through real-world stories with embedded grade-level appropriate Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) math and science curriculum. It’s a format where students can immerse themselves in the action by solving problems along with the heroes in the stories. Through ASPIRE, students expand their vocabulary, improve critical thinking, practice crucial brainstorming and teamwork skills, and get a window into future career opportunities.
Currently ASPIRE is taught by teachers in several classrooms across the Atlanta Metro area, but HMES is the first to expand across all grade levels. This is not the first time the school has been in a leadership position in the state. HMES was the first school in the state of Georgia to earn STEAM certification in 2017. With 495 students enrolled, this Title 1 school has a minority enrollment of 82% (62% is the state average in Georgia). “We were excited to introduce our Henderson Mill students to the ASPIRE curriculum,” Principal Moore asserted. “Our students were able to apply our math fundamentals skill, expand our vocabulary and participate in teamwork challenges. This opportunity exposed our students to the wide range of aviation-related careers and opportunities in aviation. We felt exposing elementary students to aviation early may open their minds to a future in a STEM related career.”
“We were thrilled to partner with HMES,” declared Latessa Meader, Director of the ASPIRE program. “The school is continually looking for new ways to engage the students and add value to their education. It was a delight to teach a lesson to each grade level and see the impact of the curriculum in action. The enthusiasm of the students and the amount of information they retained is truly inspiring.”
“This was our largest demonstration of scalability to date,” Meader continued. “ASPIRE was written to tell an engaging aviation story, introduce students to a variety of aviation careers, incorporate grade-level appropriate math and science curriculum, and to be taught by any teacher regardless of their aviation knowledge. With every teacher from kindergarten through fifth grade successfully teaching the week-long ASPIRE curriculum to their students, we were able to demonstrate the ability to open up a new world to those who are often experiencing it for the first time.”
The ASPIRE education program was developed by the Inspire Aviation Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, founded by a group of civilian leaders and aviation professionals dedicated to the goal of bringing a world-class air and space museum and educational center to the Atlanta metro area and the Southeast. The Inspire Aviation Foundation is currently in the process of finalizing an agreement to lease a hangar and office space at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) to teach the internally-developed ASPIRE curriculum, as well as aviation curriculum developed by Georgia Department of Education, and nationally-recognized curriculum from the EAA and NASA. It’s estimated that this facility at PDK will be able to host approximately 1,500-2,500 students in the first school year, as well as provide the ability to continue to run summer aviation camps. At full capacity, the Education Center aims to impact, in person, classrooms, and telematically over 15,000 students a year. This will be the first step towards the long-term goal of the Georgia Air & Space Museum and Education Center—a campus of learning, entertainment, research & development, tourism, economic development, and community involvement.