Lee's Summit R-7 School District
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STA Hosts FAA Administrator’s Tour

LSR7’s Summit Technology Academy is receiving national attention for developing the next generation of leaders in the aerospace industry.

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson visited STA on June 28 to tour the facility and learn more about the STA Aerospace Academy, which launches with the 2021-2022 school year.  

“These students right here are our future,” said FAA Administrator Dickson. “We welcome their energy and enthusiasm as they grow through their studies. This is one of the most exciting times to start life-long learning and a career in aerospace.” 

The tour showcased the success of STA’s programs to demonstrate the future potential of the Aerospace Academy. STA’s interdisciplinary approach has students learning across different programs to prepare for their future through the 4 Cs: critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. 

Highlights included:

  • Pierce Jacoby, student from STA and Lee’s Summit West High School, gave a demonstration of STA’s miniature wind tunnel for Administrator Steve Dickson. “It reminds me of the magnitude of the course and how much work has been put into it, even just on the teacher side,” Pierce said about the visit. “It makes me even more excited to take this program because I’m elated that I get to take part in this and it happens the year I’m graduating and I didn’t miss it.”
  • Dr. Jeremy Bonnesen, STA director/principal, spotlighted the Aerospace Academy partnerships with the University of Central Missouri, the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport, the City of Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and industry partners that include Aircraft Electronics Association, Ultrax Aerospace Engineering, Aviation Institute of Maintenance as well as many other aerospace and industry partners. AEA, which provides industry training, is donating aerospace equipment through its educational foundation, including an electronic flight instrument system, radio equipment, antennas, wiring, tool benches, tool sets and more. UCM, which has an aviation flight training program dating back to the 1970s, will share expertise, connections and resources with STA.
  • Dr. Bonnesen gave a tour of the STA facility, including the Engineering Wing, Computer Science Wing, Health Science Wings (Professional Nursing, Allied Health Academy and Medical Interventions/Biomedical Innovation), Digital Media Technology, and Summit International Studies Academy (SISA).

Quick Facts:

  • In the Aerospace Academy, students learn flight and electronic principles and then focus on one of seven different career tracks: aerospace engineering, avionics, professional pilot, aviation maintenance, drone pilot, aviation management and military aviation.
  • Students have the opportunity to earn FAA remote pilot certification, giving them the foundation to be an aviation pilot or a drone pilot. It also gives students an industry-recognized credential (IRC), providing an advantage when they compete for jobs.
  • Employment of aerospace engineering and operations technicians is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. Most employment growth for these workers will be in the professional, scientific and technical services industry.