Potential aviation courses come to Har-Ber

Students love for aviation reaches new heights.

In the upcoming years, new aviation courses could be implemented at Har-Ber. In a recent survey, 101 out of 387 students expressed a high amount of interest in taking a first-year aviation course.

“A lot of people don’t realize just how many different businesses and corporations we have here that involve aviation,” Har-Ber math teacher, Mr. McMullen said.

Northwest Arkansas has many airports in the area, and there could be many opportunities for students to become a part of the aviation field.

“There’s a lot of businesses and places that are needing workers to fill in the job, and there’s not anybody who is graduating from high school to take these clubs,” McMullen said.

McMullen’s goal is to become a school who can provide the community with high school graduates who are able to immediately fill these positions.

“We wanna connect these students to the industry so that they can go straight from high school to high school diploma and then straight to a good paying job as soon as possible,” McMullen said.

The idea was proposed in the fall of 2018 with the curriculum established by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

“It’s a curriculum that is already aligned to next-gen science standards and common core standards,” McMullen said.

The class itself would be offered as elective credit, and there has been support of the idea from others in the building.

“Everybody here at the building has been extremely supportive. Dr. Griep has backed us quite a bit,” McMullen said.

Although there are a lot of things to look through and codes to make before offering these courses, there has been backing by the administration.

“If we determine that a course is approved and if it meets the needs of our students, then we will continue additional planning,” principal Dr. Griep said.

There are some restrictions when it comes to implementing these classes, and that is one of the reasons the class won’t be introduced sooner this year and maybe not even next year.

“In order to offer a new program of study, research needs to take place that takes all these elements into consideration,” Springdale Superintendent of Curriculum, Marcia Smith said.

The aviation club has been holding fundraisers to support the making of the class. They are going to do helicopter rides and they are even doing a Donors Choose project to help towards the cost of a flying simulator.

“We know that once they try it they’re gonna get hooked. It’s like Fortnite,” McMullen said.

At the moment there is an aviation club at Har-Ber, and many of the students have expressed interest in having aviation classes.

“For sophomores and Juniors who actually think about a career in aviation, it would be a great opportunity to gain experience before heading out into a flight school,” senior and member of the aviation club Leonardo Vasquez said.

Another student involved with the Aviation Club, Kaitlyn Thompson, just competed at the SkillsUSA competition and won first place. Thompson successfully competed against college students, and she loves being a part of the Aviation Club. Thompson also has a hopeful outlook on the possible aviation courses.

“I think it would help people get into it because it’s not really a popular thing to get into I guess,” Thompson said.