Posted on May 9, 2019 · Posted in Blog, General, News, Press Release

(Burbank, IL) – St. Laurence High School is excited to announce the implementation of the nationally recognized Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations (AOPA) high school aviation science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum in the 2019-2020 school year.

St. Laurence students who choose to participate will have a unique opportunity to experience a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive, four-year aviation study program aligned with rigorous math and science standards. The program aims to provide students the skills they need to pursue aviation-related career and educational opportunities. Students who elect to participate in the curriculum will be taught by physics teacher Mr. Tom King.

The courses are available in two career and technical education (CTE) pathways – pilot or unmanned aircraft systems (drones) – and will be selected based on student interest. Courses are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. Classes will be rigorous, engaging and fun, in line with St. Laurence’s project-based learning philosophy and unique STEM curriculum – both of which have resulted in some of the highest ACT scores and college scholarship dollars earned in school history, along with the highest percentage of Illinois State Scholars since 1976.

According to a 2018 Boeing study, there’s a growing demand for qualified people to fill aviation industry jobs, and it’s not slowing down. Globally, 635,000 commercial aircraft pilots; 622,000 technicians; and 858,000 cabin crew members are needed within the next 20 years.

“We are constantly looking for new ways to prepare our students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math, making the new aviation courses a natural fit for us,” said St. Laurence Principal Jim Muting. “The new programming will add to our already robust list of opportunities to explore growing industries in STEM, and provide the foundation for a career in aerospace.”

The aviation program is the latest in a long line of STEM offerings at St. Laurence. In 2017, the school became the first in Illinois to earn the AdvancED STEM accreditation and remains the only high school to hold the honor. St. Laurence students can participate in career explorer programs in medicine, artificial intelligence, and computer engineering. Outside of STEM, the school also offers career explorer programs in entrepreneurship and education. Most recently, St. Laurence announced it is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and is pursuing authorization as an IB World School, a process that takes two years to complete.