Aerospace Education in the Cadet Program combines book learning with hands-on activities and orientation flights. These are paired with hands-on educational projects to reinforce the material in the texts (e.g. model rocket launches, air shows, satellite imagery module, robotics module, model aircraft flights).
Cadets are eligible for orientation rides in CAP aircraft, military aircraft, and gliders. Each flight is a hands-on activity where cadets apply what they learn and experience the joy of flight. In a recent year, cadets completed 12,000 glider flights and 16,000 flight hours in 575 aircraft. The cost of these flights is covered in the low yearly membership fee. CAP builds enthusiasm for aviation and space through its aerospace education programs. CAP’s cadets learn about aviation history and the scientific principles that make flight possible.
CAP's aerospace education efforts focus on two different audiences: volunteer CAP members and the general public. The programs ensure that all CAP members (seniors and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues. To advance within the organization, members are required to participate in the educational program. Aerospace educators at CAP's National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., provide current materials that reflect the highest standards of educational excellence. Aerospace education is divided into two parts: internal and external.
The internal aerospace education program has two parts as well: cadet and senior. Cadets complete aerospace education as one of the requirements to progress through the achievement levels of the cadet program. Senior members have a responsibility to become knowledgeable of aerospace issues and the AE program that CAP provides. They are further encouraged to share the information obtained with their local communities and school systems.
The External AE Program presents aerospace education to the public and particularly to schools. This is accomplished through academic programs within the educational systems and through contacts between CAP members and their communities. There are three facets to the External AE Program; becoming an Aerospace Education Member (AEM), Aerospace Education Workshops, and Aerospace Education in Local Schools and Other Community Organizations.