Alliance brings 'STEM' education to deaf learners


The advancement of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at dedicated schools for deaf students, and in mainstream programs for deaf and partially deaf learners is the goal of a joint project of Fly To Learn and the Deaf Pilots Association, the organizations announced in a news release.

Beta testing of curricula developed for the program will begin in three middle- or high-school age classrooms in schools for deaf students in 2013, with nationwide implementation to follow, they said.

Fly To Learn teaches STEM fundamentals using X-Plane’s flight simulation. Students learn STEM skills “by designing, constructing, flying, and evaluating the performance of their own virtual airplanes, demonstrating that education can be exciting and engaging,” said the announcement. In June, Thomas Dubick, Fly To Learn’s co-founder and a middle school teacher, was recognized as an outstanding STEM educator with a Discovery Education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics All Star Award.

The Deaf Pilots Association’s mission is to “unite its members through a common love of flying.” Its active members are either profoundly deaf or partially deaf. The association, incorporated in December 2001, also has hearing members who participate through associate memberships. DPA makes presentations in schools, participates in aviation events, hosts an annual fly-in, and maintains a library of instructional materials for pilots, including closed-caption videos among its many activities.


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