Lee's Summit R-7 School District
Staff

Summit Technology Academy Prepares to Launch Aerospace Careers (OUR SCHOOLS MAGAZINE: NOVEMBER 2020)

Although pilots are most often associated with flying, there are many other lucrative aerospace career opportunities.

Starting in 2021-2022, Summit Technology Academy will expand its Digital Electronics and Aerospace Engineering course into a larger program, Aerospace Academy. Partnering with Aircraft Electronics Association and the University of Central Missouri, this program will offer top industry resources and expertise.

Summit Technology Academy’s new Aerospace Academy will give students insight into the growing aerospace industry. A partner, Aircraft Electronics Association, will donate equipment.

Summit Technology Academy’s new Aerospace Academy will give students insight into the growing aerospace industry. A partner, Aircraft Electronics Association, will donate equipment.

Students will learn flight and electronic principles as juniors and then as seniors focus on one of seven different career tracks: aerospace engineering, avionics, professional pilot, aviation maintenance, drone pilot, aviation management and military aviation.

High-tech talent is in high demand, and advances in air and space travel are expected to spur job growth.

“If you’re going to go to the maintenance side of aviation, it’s helpful to understand things on the front side and what pilots are doing,” said STA Director/Principal Dr. Jeremy
Bonnesen. “And you’re going to be a well-prepared pilot if you understand maintenance and the behind-the-scenes aspects of aviation.”

The program is also an investment in the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport and the community. Research suggests airports grow when they incorporate educational services.

Aircraft Electronics Association, which provides industry training, supported LSR7 students before this program through career days with middle school students. AEA will donate aerospace equipment through its educational foundation, including an electronic flight instrument system, radio equipment, antennas, wiring, tool benches, tool sets and more.

AEA President/CEO Mr. Mike Adamson said an aerospace career might appeal to students who are interested in computers, and it doesn’t necessarily require a four-year college degree.

“The best part is if they’re averse to sitting at a desk all day, if they’re curious how things work, and if they have a mechanical aptitude, this is a perfect career for them,” says Mr. Adamson.

The University of Central Missouri, which has an aviation program dating back to the 1970s, will share expertise, connections and resources with STA.

“We want to leverage what UCM has, and we want to leverage what the industry has, plus students have the opportunity to continue through UCM after high school,” says Mr. Joe Mullins, UCM consultant in workforce and professional education.

Mr. Adamson says the marvel of flight continues throughout one’s aerospace career.

“I think it’s a natural reaction to look up in the sky when you hear an airplane fly over. It’s the curiosity of how that works. When you get into this industry and you get that experience, you’ll understand why and how, and you’re responsible for that particular aircraft flying. There’s no greater sense of pride. You have people’s lives in your hands, and you have repaired, installed or maintained something that allows them to fly safely across the sky.”