New Birmingham aerospace + aviation public charter school will touch down in 2022

airplane
Get ready to soar! Photo by Arie Wubben via Unsplash

Get ready to soar! Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School (AAAHS) —a free, aerospace- focused public charter school—touches down in Birmingham in 2022. Here’s what to know.

AAAHS will be a free, aviation- and aerospace-focused public charter school located on the campus of the Southern Museum of Flight.

What led to the idea for an aviation and aerospace high school? 

Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School
Ruben Morris, founder of AAAHS. Photo via Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School’s website

Behind AAAHS is Birmingham native and program director of local startup BuildUP, Ruben Morris.

“I grew up with a dream of flying F15s and retiring as a Delta pilot. But no one could tell me what to do to make that dream happen. It was a dream deferred.”

While Morris was unable to find the resources needed to become a pilot, the concept of flying never truly subsided. 

In Birmingham, he saw a large opportunity for aerospace and aviation, along with a need for pilots, especially aircraft mechanics of color. He also wondered why Birmingham, being home to the state’s largest airport, wasn’t exploding in aviation training and jobs.

“I started dreaming about what it’d be like to build a school that could produce the next generation of pilots, aircraft mechanics, aerospace engineers and computer scientists.”

Pretty soon, his vision became a new route for the deferred dreams of his childhood. 

About Alabama Aerospace + Aviation High School

According to Morris, the school will feature strong core academics along with four distinct industry-aligned pathways focused on aviation and aerospace. The four pathways include:

  1. Aerospace
  2. Pilot + Drone Pilot Licensing
  3. Aircraft Mechanics
  4. Computer Sciences

The school will house grades 9-12 with full capacity being 550-600 students. There will also be sports, clubs and extracurricular activities for students to participate in.

How is AAAHS different from other schools?

low angle photography of airplane on the sky
Students at AAAHS can graduate with their flight or drone licenses. Photo by Jordan Sanchez via Unsplash

The goal of AAAHS is to prepare students for success in college, the military and the aerospace defense and aviation industry. 

One of the main differences featured at AAAHS is their hands-on approach to teaching. For example, students will have access to flight and drone simulators so they can earn hours toward receiving their pilots’ licenses.

AAAHS is partnering with Tuskegee University to provide students with dual enrollment courses.

The school is also partnering with Kaiser Aircraft Industries and Delta who will be designing a curriculum for the school’s Aerospace pathway. The goal—to provide students with hands-on training and experience so they can be hired after graduating.

Interested in working in the aviation and aerospace industry?

Students entering 7th grade in 2022 will be eligible to enroll in the school’s first 9th-grade class. If you’re a student from Birmingham or surrounding communities, fill out an enrollment form here.

For more info on Alabama Aviation and Aerospace High School, check out their website.

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