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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.


9:00AM – 9:25AM

A Day in the Life: STEM Careers in Aviation by Luanne Wills-Merrell, Jennifer Curry, Jim Elick, Steven Peeples, and Stacey McCormack (Moderator)

Ever wondered how STEM plays a role in aviation? Join us for an exciting discussion on how STEM influenced the career choices of our four panelists, and hear what advice they have for future generations.

09:35AM – 10:00AM

Risky Business by Barrington Goldson, Cherise Ojo, MarQuisia Whorley, LaDonna Stanley, Mikosha Phoenix, Lynette McSpadden, Sabrina Levcsik, and Jonathan Gray

Get a look into how Air Traffic Safety Oversight ensure risk is managed in the National Airspace System, utilizing the DIAAT (Describe the System, Identify Hazards, Analyze Risks, Assess Risk, Treat Risk) model on a common, non-aviation related example.

10:10AM – 10:35AM

Using Virtual Reality and Flight Simulators in Weather Research – FAA Aviation Weather Research by Gary Pokodner, Dr. Ian Johnson, Ashleigh Yanoscsik and Eldridge Frazier.

Join us to see how virtual reality and flight simulators are used in weather research. We will also discuss why researchers with not only expertise in meteorology, but also, in engineering and human factors, are needed to identify and resolve gaps in weather information, weather products, and training, to enhance safety.

10:45PM – 11:10AM

Air Traffic Control Basics by Aubrey Farrar and Terry Halsey - DC Flight Club

Do you like video games? Do you know there are different types of Air Traffic Controllers? Sit back, relax and prepare for takeoff as we explore the career and a day in the life of 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!

11:20AM – 11:45AM

Introduction - Human Factors of Air Traffic by Chandra Smith, Tasha Beckford, Sharon Foreman, Wesley Himbrick, and Clarence Garden – Prommi-Mommi Foundation

Get to know the Prommi-Mommi Foundation. Explore Human Factors in Aviation with our team and how different factors impact your day-to-day performance! Take a trip with a couple of other aviators as they educate you on their roles and experiences. Lastly, become a Human Factors Analysts and put your skills to the test. Let’s Go!

11:55AM – 12:20PM

Career Path: Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle Use Cases and the Importance of Safety, Training, & Certification by Vernon Shurtz – Association for Uncrewed Aerial Systems International (AUSVI)

The use of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles, or UAV’s, is expanding at a rapid pace. A culture of safety is key for all UAV operators as the industry experiences a drastic increase in operations and complexity. Training & Certification through AUVSI’s Trusted Operator Program™ (TOP) fosters the skills, behaviors, and procedures that illustrate reliable, safe and professional operators and operations.

12:30PM – 12:55PM

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.

1:05PM – 1:30PM

It Is Rocket Science: Commercial Space Transportation 101 / A Former Intern's Experience with FAA Rocket Scientists

Get an overview of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, and hear from former intern and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate, Jamieson Simon as he speaks about his positive experiences and what he learned as an FAA intern.

1:40PM – 2:05PM

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.

2:05PM – 2:40PM

The Role of Forensic Toxicology in Aviation Death Investigations by Roxane Ritter & Sunday Hickerson

The Bioaeronautical Research Laboratory provides impartial forensic toxicology analysis on specimens from victims of aviation accidents in order to contribute to FAA/NTSB investigations. Data collected from these analyses, along with related research helps lead to a reduction of deaths and injuries in the aviation industry.

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 Office of Quality, Integration, and Executive Services, Suzanne Chandler

Our host for the event, Suzanne Chandler, welcomes you by explaining that the FAA is not just about pilots

On Demand

Welcome from former Executive Director of 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

On Demand

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.

On Demand

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.

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

Have you ever wondered what it takes to show how a heavier-than-air machine can safely fly? Enter our booth and learn about the science and engineering that our dedicated team of Aircraft Certification Engineers and Scientists apply each day. The variety of science and engineering applied by the team ensure the travelling public can safely fly on all types of aircraft. Come learn how fun a science and engineering career can be!

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 and engineering assessments 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.

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.

Department of Transportation

The US DOT occupies a unique leadership role in global transportation. We want to continue bringing talented minds into public service to help us remain the world’s most sophisticated transportation system. Visit us to hear about student intern opportunities and entry-level jobs.

AUVSI & Trusted Operator Program

LMeet staff from the Association of Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International. As a trade association, AUVSI represents industry, government, and academic stakeholders in the robotics and uncrewed systems community. Think drones, autonomous ships, automated trucks and robots of all kinds! If you are interested in a career designing, testing, or using these systems –this is the booth for you!

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.

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.

Tuskegee Next

Tuskegee NEXT offers premier aviation youth outreach programs that enable under-represented youth to obtain pilot’s licenses and start an aviation career path. We seek to provide role models and a clear path toward aviation careers through: Flight Training, Life Skills, and Educational Assistance. Visit us to learn more about our educational programs and career path opportunities.

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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