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Aerospace and aviation high school to launch second year

Alabama’s one and only aerospace and aviation high school is set to board its next flight of students next week.

The Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School, which is starting its second year in Bessemer, has a goal of more than 500 students for its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum.

“AAHS is the first aviation-focused, free public charter school in Alabama dedicated to creating the aerospace and aviation leaders of tomorrow,” according to the school’s website. “The school welcomed its first class of approximately 100 ninth-grade students in August 2022 and will be adding a new group of students each year until enrollment reaches approximately 550 students.

“AAHS offers a unique, career-focused curriculum designed to give students a direct path to the aviation industry and an advanced STEM education in an intentionally diverse school community. Through our rigorous, immersive, and industry-aligned instruction, we’re giving our students the skills, curiosity, and inspiration to pursue careers that will challenge and reward them professionally and personally.”

Founder and CEO Ruben Morris said the unique curriculum prepares students for careers in the aviation/aerospace field.

“On Fridays when many other high school students are taking their end-of-the-week performative assessments, our students will be in a hangar working alongside an airframe or power plant mechanic learning about rivets in different types of aircraft,” he said. “Or maybe they’ll be in ground school learning about the weather so they can pursue a commercial pilot or commercial drone pilot’s license.

“These are the opportunities we’re giving our students – right here, right now in Bessemer.”

Applications for this year will be accepted until the end of September for 9th- and 10th-graders.

The school is at the Foundation of Life Church in Bessemer, but a permanent facility is under construction at Bessemer Municipal Airport.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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