Jackson high school offers new aviation program

JACKSON, Tenn. — Sacred Heart of Jesus High School introduced a new STEM program, and students are soaring with success so far.

“It’s a pretty new curriculum. I believe the very first schools they tested it out on are just now graduating with their FAA license,” said Lauren Bastable, the program teacher.

The program was created by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to build students’ math and science foundations.

“It’s a wonderful STEM class where we spend a lot of time learning how to think like a scientist,” Bastable said.

The program has two routes: pilot and unmanned aircraft, where the students can earn certificates.

“You can get your certificate to be a commercial drone pilot, or you can also sit for the written exam for your FAA license to be an airline pilot,” Bastable said.

They have created many hands-on projects and still have a few left to go.

“We made a rocketship out of balloons, paper helicopters to see how those fly. We just got done making the hot air balloon, and our next big project is we’re going to make a wind tunnel,” Bastable said.

And students are loving the class so far.

“It has been really interesting. I took the class because I have an interest in drone flying,” said Brayden Dancy, a program student.

The school is hoping all students stay with the program.

“I want to be able to take the freshmen that we have and see them all the way through and get their license,” Bastable said.

Sacred Heart of Jesus High School is one of the only four schools in the state offering this program at the moment.

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