The Civil Air Patrol maintains both internal and external aerospace education programs. CAP members, both adults and cadets, follow a rigorous program to learn about aviation and aerospace principles. CAP also reaches out to the general public through a special program for teachers at all grade levels. Through this program, CAP provides free classroom materials and lesson plans for aerospace education, and each year sponsors the premier national conference in this field.
The internal Aerospace Education program provides basic aerospace knowledge to both cadet and officer members. Cadets learn through hands-on exercises including rocket building, model airplanes, aviation map reading, hot air balloons, and more. A comprehensive text “Aerospace: The Journey of Flight” is used to guide cadets through this learning process. A highlight of the program is the orientation flights: the thrill of taking the controls of an aircraft is a powerful experience! Adult officer members study to earn the Charles E. Yeager Aerospace Education Award.
The external program presents aerospace education topics to the general public. Activities are taken to local schools, civic organizations, scout and 4-H groups, church groups, and others. Teachers can join CAP as an Aerospace Education Member (AEM) to receive materials and resources for use in their classrooms. Every year the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education (NCASE) meets to bring educators together to focus on the latest developments in aerospace education.