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At the end of this block of study, you should be able to:
6.1 Define aerospace education.
6.2 List the elements that are important in preparing for an aerospace career.
6.3 Explain how education is related to aerospace.
Thomas Jefferson once said: "An informed citizenry is the
foundation of democracy." Other advocates of aerospace
believe this to be true. Understanding aerospace is important for
all citizens because of the American political system.
Aerospace combines two terms aero and space. Aero comes from aeronautics, which refers to flight within the atmosphere. Space refers to flight beyond the atmosphere. Aerospace education is that branch of general education concerned with communicating knowledge, skills, and attitudes about aerospace activities and the total impact of air and space vehicles upon society.
Average citizens usually have a superficial knowledge about aerospace. Their knowledge is based upon what they have read, seen, or heard through the media. Often this information is misleading. The only solution to the problem is a citizenry informed about aerospace. Therefore, the role of aerospace education is to understand both the pros and cons of the aerospace issues and to produce a nation informed about the aerospace world.
The present-day aerospace society is complex and dynamic. It will become more complex as technology advances and the population increases.
The one element aerospace has produced, more than anything else, Is change. The beginning of space exploration In 1957 and commercial jet aviation in 1958 created an environment where the quest for knowledge became one of the Nation's greatest industries. Suddenly, it was not only acceptable but actually popular to do research, The effect of this is what many have called the knowledge revolution. The computer was developed, refined, and improved. This allowed people to store, refine, and analyze the tremendous amount of data created by aerospace-related industries.
This quest for knowledge placed a great demand on the educational community. More and better-trained people were needed to work m the aerospace community. The special aptitudes and skills you have plus the courses taken in high school are important considerations in preparing for an aerospace career.
Education is defined as a process that brings about change. A change is brought about by gaining knowledge and by utilizing that knowledge. The men who invented the airplane were educated, in some instances self-educated. Because of this education, they were able to change the world. They found a way for man to fly.
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Updated: March 12, 2004