4th FAA Aviation Safety STEM Career Symposium

September 23, 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 professionals. Participating students will learn about exciting careers such as aviation safety inspectors, aerospace engineers, medical officers, pilots, air traffic controllers, and mathematicians.


Thursday, September 23, 2021 10:00AM to 4:00PM EDT 
10:00AM – 10:25AM

How Risk is Managed in the Aviation Environment by James Daum, Barrington Goldson, Mikosha Phoenix, Jesse Pasqualino, and LaDonna Stanley

This webinar will feature Air Traffic Safety Inspectors that describe and relate to participants how the FAA manages risk to provide the safest way to travel.

10:40AM – 11:05AM

Not Just Meteorology – FAA Aviation Weather Research by Gary Pokodner, Dr. Ian Johnson, and Eldridge Frazier

This webinar will present cutting edge aviation weather research being performed by FAA researchers. It will also discuss why researchers with expertise in meteorology, engineering, and human factors are needed to identify and resolve gaps in weather information, weather products, and training, to improve operational safety and efficiency.

11:20AM – 11:45AM

All About Drones by John Sawyer

How do drones work and what can we do with them? There's a lot to learn about the technology and where it is taking our economy. 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 Integration Program Managers.

12:00PM – 12:25PM

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!

12:40PM – 1:05PM

How Human Factors Research Contributes to Safety by Drs. Chanda Sanders and Hannah Baumgartner.

Pilots and air traffic controllers are recognized for their vital roles in aviation safety as they fly and direct planes respectively to their destinations; however, many are unfamiliar with the contribution of human factors research as an integral piece of the flight safety puzzle from when a plane leaves the jet bridge until it is parked at its destination. Researchers at CAMI use the scientific method to ask safety-related questions and explore answers that ensure the FAA manages the safest national airspace in the world.

1:20PM – 1:45PM

Aviation STEM Trivia Game by Dara Gibson

Join us won’t you? Challenge yourself and learn new and exciting facts about aviation! Our “Aircraft Certification STEM trivia” will test your knowledge of aircraft and aircraft certification.

2:00PM – 2:25PM

Meet our Ambassadors of Aviation! Panel/Speakers: Camanche Cain, Jason Burks, and Daniel Porter

Aviation is one of the most exciting and dynamic industries in the world. Any young person 13-19 can taste the freedom of flight that most people only dream about. Come join us and we will share the programs and avenues you can use directly from our ambassadors of aviation and please bring your questions in!

2:40PM – 3:05PM

Giving Wings to Dreams by Tammera L. Holmes, Founder and CEO of the AeroStar Avion Institute

Join Tammera Holmes as she shares lifelong inspiration and mentoring tips for future Aviators. She is an international speaker and has won over two dozen awards for her work impacting more than 10,000 youth in the Midwest. In 2008, Holmes launched AeroStar Consulting Corporation to begin opening doors for youth in a career field that for most is still very foreign. In 2016, she established the AeroStar Avion Institute NFP to promote career pathways in aviation and aerospace education. Her passion is to get more African Americans, females and other undeserved and underrepresented populations interested in Aviation STEM careers. Her AeroStars programs are literally giving "Wings to Dreams."

3:20PM – 3:45PM

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
On Demand

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.

On Demand

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.


We are Aviation Safety

FAA's Aviation Safety Organization is comprised of some of the most dedicated professionals in the aerospace industry. Learn more about these public servants who keep our skies the safest in the world.


Meet our Intern and Ambassador of Aviation!

Jason Burks started flying when he was 11 years old through the Young Eagles Program and later joined the Civil Air Patrol which is part of the cadet program in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary. He currently has a private pilot’s certificate (Part 91) with over 85 hours of flight time and he is a junior at Auburn University, and anticipates graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management and a minor in Business and Political Science. Take a look at his pathway to become a pilot and consider aviation careers!

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. Also, take a virtual tour of our Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.

Aircraft Certification

Come on down! Stop by our booth and learn all kinds of exciting things that our dedicated group of Aircraft Certification Engineers & Scientists do to make sure aircraft fly safely. It’s going to be a blast (but not literally)!

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

Did you know adults and aviation professionals have report cards and an allowance too? Visit us to learn how we use math, science, problem solving and leadership to keep aviation safe. 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 STEMrelated 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.

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!

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.

FAA College Career Center

There are many ways to get your professional life off the ground at FAA, and you don't have to have years of flying or aviation experience to do it. We offer various entry-level careers, training and development programs, as well as internship opportunities for students and college graduates. Visit us to learn more about various careers in aviation and student programs offered by 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.

Office of Civil Rights Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Visit us to learn more about the FAA’s Diversity and Inclusion, Federal Women’s, and Disability Programs. We’ll also share information about on-the-spot hiring, Aviation Development Program, and National Employee Forum.

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 Aircraft Systems (drones) Digital Investigations Branches. Come learn more about what we are doing in this digital age to support the FAA.

Academy of Model Aeronautics

Learn more about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the Academy of Model Aeronautics, a world-class association of modelers organized for the purpose of promotion, development, education, advancement, and safeguarding of modeling activities. Finding a career in aviation starts with an understanding of aviation, and what better place to start than model aviation? From Free Flight to advanced turbine jet aircraft, our members know a thing or two about aviation; in fact, we’ve been around as an organization since 1936. Check out some of the Academy of Model Aeronautics’ free resources and learn how to find a club in your area to get involved in a great hobby, competition outlet, or aviation career involving unmanned aircraft!

Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Did you know that even before the pandemic, aviation maintenance technicians were much in demand? While many schools have added online learning options, the fact is that hands-on time is essential when you’re learning how to repair and maintain an aircraft. Visit us to learn more. Nothing is cooler than knowing you train to help keep people safe and planes in the air.

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.

United Airlines

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

University of Maryland Robotics Center

The University of Maryland Robotics Center will be presenting information about their center's robotics research in the form of an instructional video, robotics-themed activities, and access to websites and social media pages.


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