The Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Mission provides an understanding and an appreciation of aviation and of space exploration to both cadets and senior members. A knowledge of Aerospace Education provides an understanding of the total impact of air and space technology upon our society. Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education is infused throughout the cadet program and key concepts and hands on activities are conducted during weekly squadron meetings. New Hampshire has a strong model rocketry program and competition in which cadets learn how rockets work and how they fly, while constructing one of their own.
Cadets in the Civil Air Patrol have the opportunity to fly in both powered aircraft and gliders as part of the Orientation Flight Program. Cadets are able to fly up to five free Orientation Flights in Civil Air Patrol powered aircraft (primarily Cessna 172's and 182's). Each flight follows a syllabus and has defined learning outcomes for cadets. During these flights, cadets they learn the basics of powered flight and have an opportunity to take the controls of the aircraft during portions of the flight. Cadets are also able to take up to five free Glider Orientation Flights (paid glider flights are available for Senior Members). These rides allow cadets to learn about the basics of glider flight. Many of the cadets from the Concord Squadron go on to study aviation and some get their private pilot's license as a result of the love for aviation sparked by Orientation Flights.
Aerospace Education Membership Programs
There are two special Aerospace Education programs for teachers and educators in the Civil Air Patrol. There is the Aerospace Education Member program and the Aerospace Education Officer program.
Aerospace Education Member (AEM)
The Aerospace Education Member program is for teachers and educators who want to have access to the Aerospace Education materials and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) materials. There is a one time membership fee of $35. This membership does not allow the member to wear the uniform or participate in Emergency Services activities and events. The Aerospace Education Member may participate in the Aerospace Education Excellence awards program and the Teacher Orientation Program (TOP) flights.
Aerospace Education Officer (AEO)
The Aerospace Education Officer is for teachers and educators who want to be a full participating member of the Civil Air Patrol. This membership has access to the Aerospace Education materials and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) materials. In addition, the Aerospace Education Officer wears the uniform and may participate in Emergency Services activities and squadron events.
The Aerospace Education officer joins as a regular Senior Member of the Civil Air Patrol. After completion of Level 1 training, the unit commander submits the member for immediate promotion based on their education level and teaching experience, as detailed in the regulations. Promotions are then based on their time in grade.