3rd FAA Aviation Safety STEM Career Symposium

April 29, 2021

Time: 10:00am to 4:00pm EDT


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the government agency responsible for overseeing air transportation in the United States. The FAA focuses on air transportation safety, including the enforcement of safety standards for aircraft manufacturing, operation, and maintenance.

The FAA Aviation Safety (AVS) STEM Career Symposium is designed to educate students about STEM/aviation-related career opportunities and encourage them to enter into these type of fields when considering their own career in the future.

The AVS STEM Career Symposium will include multiple guest speakers, interactive visual presentations, STEM engagement activities and opportunities for students to talk with Aviation Safety professionals. Participating students will learn about exciting AVS careers such as aviation safety inspectors, aerospace engineers, medical officers, pilots, and mathematicians.


April 29, 2021 
11:00 AM

The Sky’s the Limit:  STEM Careers in Aviation by Rick Domingo, Lirio Liu, Thomas Winston, and Anna Hofmeir (Moderator)

Aviation is one of the most exciting and dynamic industries in the world. We need people who are excited about all aspects of aviation to be part of our aviation safety mission. Join us for an engaging discussion of how STEM opens the door to wide range of interesting aviation career options.

11:30 AM

All About Drones by Christopher Nassif

How do drones work and what do you need to know to make them fly? There’s a lot to learn about the technology and physics behind these incredible machines. There are so many businesses now using drones to help them get work done. Come learn about the world of drones from one of our Unmanned Aircraft Subsystems Technologists!

12:00 PM

Cleared for Takeoff! By Aubrey Farrar, DC Flight Club

Sit back, relax and prepare for takeoff as we explore the career and a day in the life of an air traffic controller! Do you know there are different types of Air Traffic Controllers? Do you know the minimum requirements to become an Air Traffic Controller? Let’s take a VIP all access tour of the tower to get a sneak peek behind the scenes. We will learn pilot/controller communication and other fun facts!

12:30 PM

Aviation Rulemaking and STEM by Emily Davis

Learn about the FAA’s Office of Rulemaking and how it intersects with STEM. Learn what a regulation is and why it is important for regulations to be scientifically accurate

1:00 PM

Drones, Here for Good by Alina George

Drones are fun to fly and are really cool toys. But did you know they can do so much more? Join us and find out how drones are not just used for good, but are also here to stay. We’re moving into a world with air taxis and drone deliveries. Find out how you can be a part of the future!

1:30 PM

Aviation STEM Trivia Game by Dara Gibson 

Challenge yourself to learn something new about aviation.  Aircraft Certification STEM trivia will test your knowledge on aircraft and aircraft certification.

2:00 PM

How STEM Can Blossom into Aviation Career Opportunities by Barbara Adams, Vanessa Blacknall-Jamison, Tina Buskirk, Beth Hill, Karen Lucke, Linda Navarro, Kieran O’Farrell, Luanne Wills-Merrill, and Susan K Parson (Moderator)

Join this lively group of FAA women as they discuss the way STEM studies planted the seeds for interesting and meaningful careers in a range of aviation specialties.

2:30 PM

Exciting Career Opportunities at CAMI by Dr. Melchor Antuñano

The FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) is the medical certification, medical/human factors research, education, and occupational medicine wing of the Office of Aerospace Medicine. Its mission is to assure civil aerospace safety through excellence in medical certification, research and education programs. CAMI is one of the premier civil aerospace medicine organizations in the world.

Pre-Recorded Presentations

Welcome from FAA Deputy Administrator, Brad Mims

FAA Deputy Administrator Brad Mims shares some encouraging words for students of all ages about STEM education, and how it can lead to exciting opportunities and a meaningful career at the FAA.


Welcome from Executive Director of FAA AIR Traffic Safety Oversight, Mike O’Donnell

Watch as Mike O’Donnell provides a warm welcome to students and a brief overview of the FAA’s Air Traffic Safety Oversight Organization.


Airport Surface Anomaly Investigation Capability (ASAIC) by Laura Bachurski

ASAIC is our airport surface and terminal area replay tool for monitoring safety and reviewing safety-related events.  It shows movement of aircraft, represented by scaled 3D models, and vehicles on or near the airport surface using a geospatial map of the airport.  Learn more about how this tool is used by FAA Accident Investigators to review past events


Let’s Take a 7 minute Walk in My Boots….

Students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about careers in aviation operations & maintenance, rotorcraft, and cabin safety by hearing directly from professionals in these career fields. Watch a panel of Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI): Martha Parish, ASI (OPS), Mahanand “Manny” Manbahal, ASI (AW), Jennifer Curry, ASI (Cabin Safety), Ronald “Dante” Fontenot, ASI (Rotorcraft), speak about what they do in Aviation Safety.


What is Code Ninjas by David Ryan

Learn about the Code Ninjas Organization and its mission to teach kids problem-solving and critical thinking skills through building video games.

Exhibit Hall

Please be sure to visit all of our booths to learn about various programs and careers offered in STEM/Aviation

Aerospace Medicine

Visit us to learn more about the exciting work performed by doctors in Aerospace Medicine. Speak with the very first female Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. Susan Northrup live from 11:30am to 12:00pm.  Also, take a virtual tour of our Civil Aerospace Medical Institute

Aircraft Certification

Stop by to learn all about some of the things our Aircraft Certification Engineers and Scientists look at to help make sure aircraft pose the least threat to the public.

Air Traffic Safety Oversight

Visit us to get a walkthrough of how Air Traffic Safety Oversight interacts with and oversees the Air Traffic Organization. We have teacher worksheets for STEM projects as well!

Quality, Integration, & Executive Service

Visit us to learn about how we maintain quality and standards across the Aviation Safety Organization. We also have fun virtual learning packets that students can practice at school or home!


The FAA’s Office of Rulemaking helps write regulations based on STEM-related subjects. Visit us to learn about the importance of rulemaking and how we keep everyone safe, those flying in the air and those on the ground.

Accident Investigation & Prevention

The Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention develops tools, analyzes data, evaluates actions, and investigates accidents and incidents helping you get to your next destination safely. Visit us to see how the FAA’s ASAIC accident/ incident replay tool is used to visualize these events in near-real time.

Flight Standards Service

Visit us to learn about our Flight Standards Service, from cabin and runway safety, to the jobs performed by Aviation Safety Inspectors.

Security & Hazardous Materials Safety

The Office of Security and Hazardous Materials Safety mission is to ensure aviation safety, support national security, and promote an efficient airspace system through the development and administration of policies and programs. One of the ways we are able to do this is through our Cyber Investigations and Unmanned Aerial Systems (drones) Digital Investigations Branches. Come learn more about what we are doing in this digital age to support the FAA.

Air Traffic Organization

Visit us for a showcase of the exciting opportunities available in the Air Traffic Organization. We are a diverse workforce comprised of Air Traffic Controllers, Airway Transportation Support Specialists, Engineers, and Support Staff to keep the National Airspace System operational.

FAA Student Programs

Visit us to learn more about various careers in aviation and student programs offered by the FAA.

DC Flight Club

Come Fly with us! We will spend a virtual day at the airport learning about aircraft characteristics, principles of flight, and actually FLY in our Nation’s Capital Airspace. This immersive experience will take you from your seat to the airplane cockpit! Stop by and buckle your seatbelt for your virtual flight tour to learn more from pilots and air traffic controllers.

University of Maryland Robotics Club

The Maryland Robotics Center sponsors student teams that enter robotics competitions. Visit us to learn more about our program and watch an instructional video on how we design and build robots.

Code Ninjas

From coding and robotics to drones and STEM activities, kids learn fun lessons from instructors. Code Ninjas is reportedly the fastest-growing kid's coding franchise. Visit us today to learn more.

Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

Visit us to learn more about the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and the various programs, resources, and support offered for youth interested in aerospace.

United Airlines

Visit us to speak with United Airlines pilots and professionals and learn about pathways to careers in aviation.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office

What’s that in the air? It’s a drone! Drones are becoming an increasingly important tool in our world. Stop by our booth to find out more about what the future of drones will look like and learn how you can get involved!


Go to the Top