Davis Aerospace High School, founded in 1943, was originally intended to teach adults how to repair planes, but now offers technical trade training to high school students. Currently, only a small percentage of students at Davis Aero are accepted into 4-year college programs, primarily pursuing aviation degrees at Western University.
UM Aero has been cultivating a relationship with Davis over the past year with the goal of increasing Davis graduates’ interest in attending a 4-year college after graduation. Department Chair, Dr. Tony Waas, and the Outreach Specialist are working closely with principal Neal Morrison, to achieve his primary objective of adding engineering to Davis Aerospace’s aviation focused curriculum. This experience would expose juniors and seniors at Davis to a diverse set of career options available to them if they were to pursue engineering degrees.
Students from Davis got an opportunity to experience aerospace engineering by visiting the Department of Aerospace Engineering twice. Both times they met with faculty and student team members. They also sat in on an AERO 285 seminar, where they listened to George Halow, now a UM Aero Professor of Practice after a distinguished 31-year career at Ford Motor Company where he held numerous positions as a chief engineer and in engineering leadership.
In a revamped version of AERO285, class is broken down into three sections: ‘the Aerospace Enterprise’, ‘Leadership, Culture, and Communication’, and ‘Careers in Aerospace’. Davis’ top 10 students will get a chance to attend the 285 seminar this fall and winter in a continued partnership with UM Aero. Future plans are for UM grad students and postdocs to teach ENG100, UM’s intro to engineering course, onsite at Davis Aero to provide continuing exposure to engineering. UM Aero is looking forward to continuing this partnership and wishes the Davis Aerospace High School students the best of luck in their studies this academic year!