Life Lessons

Life Lessons: Out of this world learning

Life Lessons: Out of this world learning

There's a good chance you might see lots of females landing aerospace type jobs in the coming years.

More and more schools are now offering a career oriented curriculum, like aerospace and aeronautics classes.

Dabbling in drones was the assignment at Clearwater High School.

"Flying drones? I was like 'yes, I have to be in this!'" says aeronautic student Destiny White.

However, it's a lot more than just a cool class. The teenagers could earn their ground pilot's license before they even got their automobile driver's license.

"They'll just start to realize that what they do in high school is valuable," says academy coordinator Mary Roble. "What they learn here is going to help them when they get out of school."

Roble said the school partnered with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to develop the Aeronautics and Space Academy.

"Aerospace is something in need for careers," Roble explains. "Part of this push is to get kids aware of careers that have high need and high incomes."

Sophomore Maria Campos was steering toward a massage therapy career, but now she may chart a new course.

"Once I got to this class, I learned about drones, planes, and jets," says Campos. "So I gave it a chance to see if it would change my mind, and now I am studying for aviation."

Roble said female students were the first to express interest in the outer space studies.

Right now women pilots represent six percent of the total pilot population in the United States, but that number is increasing. Two graduates from this school have already gone on to become astronauts.

"It's about helping students feel like what they do here is relevant to what they want to do with their lives," Roble explains.

Most students will earn college credit after completing the aeronautics courses.

The FAA-approved training is free to the students and it could actually save them more than $20,000 in college tuition costs.

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