Every day I drive by an old and abandon aviation high school. The hollow site is located near my office and the building sits at an end of a runway, its slowly crumbling away in the wind.
So I was pleased to learn that PHASTAR, Northeast Ohio’s aviation non-profit, is breathing life back into this building, filling the halls once again with the voices of children. Programs and subjects will be offered, geared toward education in the maritime and aviation fields
Imagine attending a high school math class in a steamship, or sailboat? Learn the history of aviation with actual historical resources on site? Or work in a helicopter maintenance lab during study hall? The creativity of the state of the art programming for the high school is expected to be innovative.
PHASTAR recently unveiled its plans for the fall 2013 launch of The Davis Aerospace Academy & Maritime Academy. The Academy is named after Cleveland’s esteemed veteran, General Benjamin O. Davis Jr.,a legendary Tuskegee Airmen.
University School’s alumnus Drew Ferguson ’95, President of PHASTAR is leading the effort to launch this innovative school. The goal is to reinvigorate interest in aerospace for Cleveland youth and offer a leading edge curriculum in science, technology, engineering and math. Drew will be collaborating with University School in his vision to offer programs and subjects that will be meaningful and engaging to students. The Academy aims to achieve STEM success through aerospace and maritime exploration while preparing students for the next step in their education and a direct pathway to competitive careers in these growing fields.
"Our vision for this academy is to empower and enlighten the student by resurrecting and honoring the character and the spirit of the Tuskegee Airmen. We want to instill that same passion and perseverance in our area youth and provide a platform for their STEM success," said Ferguson. The Academy plans to move into the former Aviation High School after restoration which may take a few years. They look to begin accepting enrollment by Fall 2014.
The first of many fundraising initiatives for the development of the Academy, will be a production of the Off-Broadway hit, The Black Angels Over Tuskegee on Friday, March 8th at University School. This play is the story of six men embarking on a journey to become pilots in the United States Army Air Forces. The group was led by the same General Benjamin O. Davis. In 2009, the production won both a NAACP Award for the Best Ensemble and the Hollywood Artistic Director Achievement Award for the Best Play.
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