Key Question: What are the real world career applications for Navigational Skills in Aviation?
Objectives- By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Understand the real world applications of Navigation skills in Aviation
Describe some of the Aviation careers that utilize Navigation
Explain the educational requirements for a career in Aviation Navigation
Know which STEM skills are critical for a career in this field
Understand a day in the life of an Aviation professional
Evaluate job prospects in a chosen field
STEM standards: STEM Career Exploration; Research; non-fiction writing
Terms and Definitions: Navigation; Dead Reckoning
Reading and Resource Links:
Navigation is defined as a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navigation, marine navigation, aeronautic navigation, and space navigation.
In this modern time of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) – almost everyone has a handy and easy to use instrument that can tell where you are – and more importantly, where you want to go. Personal navigation has never been easier. But what came before GPS? And what would we do if GPS were lost – or worse – no longer available. Long before GPS, early explorers relied on the stars, moon, planets, and sun for navigation (Celestial navigation). Using the stars & sun to measure longitude and latitude, they were able to determine their approximate position and chart a course to their destination. As technology improved, radio beacons replaced stars as a primary navigation method. And then satellites eventually replaced radio beacons. But there has always remained a need for back-up navigation methods.
Click Here for an explanation of Navigation types, methods, tools, and techniques.
For more advanced information on Navigation and it’s many sub-sciences, visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Courseware “Modern Navigation”
Your STEM Flights Navigation mission will include basic GPS navigation, piloting, and dead reckoning. You & your pilot will plan a mission to several waypoints on the map and (using a combination of navigation types & techniques) navigate your aircraft to the final destination. By the mission end, you will have learned how to navigate without the electronic crutch of GPS.
Pre-Flight Activity: Read about one of the Navigation Careers using the linked resources above or other sources. Write a 2-3 paragraph summary of your findings, including the information below (at a minimum). Use complete sentences, proper punctuation and capitalization.
Which career did you choose to explore?
What are the educational requirements to be considered for this career?
What types of STEM skills could you focus on now, to be able to do this job in the future?
What is the average salary of someone in this job?
Is the job market for this career currently strong? Is it projected to change in the next 10 years?
Describe a typical work day for this career.
Conclusions and Takeaways: There are many options for Aviation careers using Navigation. It is important to develop strong science and math skills now, in order to be able to pursue a career in Aviation in the future.