Faculty win FAA grant to provide high-tech learn-by-doing programs for aviation educators

From left to right: Julius Keller, Damon Lercel, Manoj Patankar.

A team of faculty members within the School of Aviation (Julius Keller, Damon Lercel, Manoj Patankar) just received a two-year grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The grant, which totals $383,824 will help create a teacher training model with the Greater Lafayette Career Academy and Purdue Polytechnic High Schools. “We’re currently in the process of selecting teachers,” Keller said.

The project will develop an innovative experiential learning pathway program for the next generation of pilots that meets the knowledge requirements of both crewed and uncrewed aircraft (UAS) pilots. It is designed to engage teachers, parents and students as they work on their individual pathways to a career in aviation. The high school curriculum is portable, accessible, and low-cost.

In addition, the program will use a train-the-trainer model that strategically uses innovative automated flight training and simulation technologies that incorporate artificial intelligence to engage students efficiently and effectively in experiential learning activities.

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