Aerospace Education (AE) is one of the three primary missions of the Civil Air Patrol. There are two aspects to this program. The first is public oriented education programs directed toward the aviation community and the public at large. The second is an internally focused program directed at CAP members, primarily Cadet members as part of their training program.
Public (“External”) Aerospace Education
The Civil Air Patrol has been tasked by Congress with providing resources and trained personnel to support education in aerospace topics to the general public. This is accomplished through supporting teachers by providing a special membership category for educator (“Aerospace Member”) and FREE introductory flights in CAP aircraft as part of CAP’s Teacher Orientation Program. CAP provides aerospace education programs and presentations for the public, and sponsors and supports such events as the National Conference of Aerospace Educators (NCASE) and the Team America Rocketry Challenge.
CAP also provides direct support to the education efforts of the aviation industry and aviation related museums. These efforts can by individual members volunteering as docents or guides or CAP units actively supporting museum events, air shows, etc. Frequently, CAP units will display CAP aircraft and equipment at such events.
Member (“Internal”) Aerospace Education
Education in the aerospace sciences and history is an essential part of the CAP cadet program’s development program. CAP has developed and provides textbooks and learning materials to all cadet members as part of this program. Completing AE courses is a required component of the cadet development program. Completion of these courses is necessary for cadets to get promoted and advance in their program. Upon request, CAP also provides support to Air Force JROTC units at local schools.
CAP also provides various aerospace education opportunities to its adult members, both as presenters/teachers and as students. This can be done through courses at the local unit level or by unit-sponsored tours or events at local or regional aviation venues.