Program background The aviation technology program is part of the transportation technology “SHSM” (specialist high skills major) program at Bradford High School in Simcoe County, Ontario. The SHSM is designed to give students focused programming through high school in order for them to be more prepared for postsecondary options in a given field. Students who succeed in the transportation technology SHSM have the opportunity to explore courses in aviation technology as well as in automotive service and auto body repair. The Aviation course at Bradford was started by instructor Mike Cino in 2005 after he left the York Catholic District School Board (YCDSB), where he had successfully pioneered its first aviation course in conjunction with CAMC (now CCAA). The YCDSB course ran for five years at St. Robert Catholic High School with Mr. Cino as the instructor. It continues to run there and has now been extended to another YCDSB high school. At Bradford, Mr. Cino has Created a multifaceted transportation program modeled after the successful aviation program he designed at St. Robert. Mr. Cino, who is a licensed automotive service technician and private pilot, explains, “The thing that made those courses successful was the fact that they were very dynamic, full of exciting projects and field trips. Links developed with community partners, including postsecondary institutions and industry, allowed some teaching to be done outside the school.” The program The aviation course at Bradford is delivered in a technology shop with a mix of theory and practical assignments. Topics Include airframes, power plants, theory of flight and introduc tion to pilot training. Some practical assignments are model aircraft con struction, sheet metal projects, flight simulators, and engine servicing. Students in the aviation program attend several days of instruction at Centennial College in Scarborough, Ontario, where they are intro duced to collegelevel AME training programs. While at the college, they have participated in metal fabrication labs, engine labs and fuel system labs as well as classes for turbine familiarization. Activities are designed around the modern hangar at Centennial where students get oriented on several types of fixedwing as well as rotary aircraft. Students in the program have the option to participate in a work experience program in industry. Some have worked at Air Canada in Toronto, and some at Skyservice. In addition, some students choose a coop placement through which they work in an aviation placement for a complete semester. Some coop choices have included local airports, maintenance facilities, and helicopter and fixedwing flight schools. The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton has played an important role in Mr. Cino’s aviation classes at both York and Simcoe. “After taking my students there for over 10 years, staff have now designed a custom tour for the keen high school student with an interest in aviation. Students are given behindthescenes tours in small groups by very knowledgeable staff and volunteers. It is a wonderful place for introducing the important role Canada had in the development of aviation and aerospace technology.” “Dynamic and exciting,” is how Mr. Cino describes his course. And one of the most dynamic and exciting components of the aviation program is the culminating activity called Flight Lab. “Since my first aviation class, all of my students have participated.” In the Flight Lab, students use a lot of their new knowledge to participate in a real flight. After weeks of preparation, an entire day is spent at a flight training facility where students work with flight instructors inspecting an aircraft for flight; deciphering professional weather briefings; and then actually flying a light aircraft from the pilot seat with an instructor sitting right beside them. The anticipation of this day builds a lot of excitement for the class and for the aviation program at Bradford. Update for September 2011 The aviation program has just been approved to run as an afterschool program through Continuing Education at the Simcoe Board, thus allowing students from neighbouring communities and other school boards to participate in this innovative and exciting program. This pilot program begins in September 2011.
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