Civil Air Patrol (CAP) promotes and supports aerospace education, both for its own members and the general public. CAP educational programs help prepare American citizens to meet the challenges of a sophisticated aerospace society and understand its related issues.
The Aerospace Education (AE) mission is conducted both internally and externally to CAP.
CAP’s external AE program focuses on teachers in local schools. CAP offers national standards-based educational products, including a secondary and middle-school level textbooks. Teachers can get free classroom materials and lesson plans from CAP by joining CAP’s Aerospace Education Membership program. Educators from across the country learn how to use aviation and space in a variety of subject areas by attending the National Conference on Aviation and Space Education (NCASE). NCASE is the nation’s premier conference in this field. CAP has sponsored NCASE since 1967.
CAP approaches its AE internal mission in different ways for senior member and cadets.
All senior members are eligible to earn the General Chuck Yeager Aerospace Award by studying selected materials and passing an exam. Another way that senior members continue their aerospace education is working with the cadet
aerospace program. Senior members have the opportunities to be flight instructors, orientation pilots, and AE class teachers
Cadets receive aerospace education through several methods. Cadets are required to demonstrate knowledge of aerospace topics in order to receive promotions. Cadets also receive orientation flight in powered aircraft and gliders. Older cadets can receive flight training towards a pilot certificate. Classes are taught in each unit that give the cadets the opportunity for hands-on learning of various aerospace topics.