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Aerospace Education


Welcome to Civil Air Patrol's (CAP) Aerospace Education (AE) introduction page.  Aerospace Education is one of the three mission elements of CAP, the other two being Cadet Programs and Emergency Services.  The mission of AE is to educate, inspire, and instill an appreciation for and an understanding of aerospace in today and tomorrow's world.  We promote aerospace to our members and the general public.  

Teaching Ordinary Subjects in Extraordinary Ways  

Civil Air Patrol (CAP) promotes and supports aerospace education, both for its own members and the general public. CAP educational programs help prepare American citizens to meet the challenges of a sophisticated aerospace society and understand its related issues.

CAP offers national standards-based educational products, including a secondary textbook, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, and the middle-school-level Aerospace Dimensions. Teachers can get free classroom materials and lesson plans from CAP by joining CAP’s Aerospace Education Membership program.

At Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer auxilliary of the U.S. Air Force, we're helping develop tomorrow's aerospace workforce.

Through our award-winning Making Aerospace Real for Students (MARS) program, we offer teachers:

  • Free national standards-based aerospace education materials (for homeschoolers, too!)
  • Awards, such as AEX, for schools that adopt aerospace education into their curricula
  • Grants available from Air Force Association to incorporate aerospace into the classroom
  • Low-cost aerospace textbooks for grades 6-12
  • Aerospace education newsletters full of useful information
  • Orientation flights in powered aircraft
  • Aerospace-oriented summer workshops
  • Aerospace education speakers and resources nationwide
  • The nation's premier aerospace education conference for teachers

We offer students (who are CAP Cadets):

  • Orientation flights
  • Encampment opportunities
  • Scholarships
  • Career Exploration Activities

CAP's aerospace education programs are nationally recognized:

  • Recipient of the Air Force Association's Vandenberg Award, theNational Aeronautics Association's Brewer Trophy, and the Space Foundation's Education Achievement Award.
  • Website awarded USA TODAY'S Best Bet for Educators