Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Education Program serves the CAP cadet and senior member population as well as the general public.
The program includes formal graded courses for members to become knowledgeable about all aspects of aviation, including flight physics, dynamics, history, application, etc. The course work also includes all aspects of the space program and new technologies that make advances in aviation and space exploration possible. There are also several programs for CAP pilots to improve their flying skills and FAA ratings so that the safety of the CAP aviation program may be enhanced. Outside of its organization, CAP provides school teachers with resources and help in terms of integrating aviation and aerospace into the classroom. This outreach program includes seminars, course material and sponsorship of the National Congress on Aerospace Education. Members also help municipalities better understand the needs and benefits of airports and other aviation related facilities to their communities, and how to better manage them.
Cadet Aerospace Education
The CAP Cadet Program has a mandatory aerospace education program; in order to progress, a cadet must take courses and tests relating to aviation. They also have educational opportunities through guest speakers, model building, and actual flight.
Senior Aerospace Education
Senior members of the CAP may choose to study aerospace as part of the Senior Member Training Program progression requirements. CAP encourages its senior members to learn about aviation and its history, although this is not mandatory. Those who complete the Aerospace Education Program for Senior Members may earn the Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager Aerospace Education Award.
External Aerospace Education
The purpose of the EAE, as stated in CAP’s 1946 Congressional Charter, is to “encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities.” CAP has focused on providing schools and teachers materials and help in educating youth about aerospace. CAP members may visit schools, host field trips, science competitions and fairs, and other assorted activities. In addition to schools, CAP reaches out to other organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, 4-H, etc.