About Dr. Smith?
Dr. Smith has set new standards in STEM education in Virginia. He is director of the Newport News Public Schools Aviation Academy and author of Awakening Your STEM School with the support of best selling author Bud Ramey. This work is being released by Koehler Publishing in August 2015. More information about the book is available on this site.
The Aviation Academy is almost twenty years old and is unique in the nation among public schools. Under his leadership, the program has gained national attention.
His unique methods of bringing the classrooms alive by bringing aviation related business leaders and organizations into the school to work with the young people is a benchmark for the growing societal demand for stronger STEM programs in our public schools.
His students are assembling an RV-12 flyable airplane from a kit, through partnerships with NASA, they have had an uplink call with the International Space Station and the facility boasts its own fully state-of-the-art wind tunnel.
Air Force One routinely lands and can be seen towering over the cafeteria. The Air Traffic Control team gives week-long experiences for the students and dozens of area business leaders offer internships for the young people. They teach pilot, mechanics and airport management as electives. He has led this school into a leadership position among public schools embracing the new call for better STEM programming.
Dr. Smith’s book gives practical ideas and actions to bring any STEM classroom alive and strengthen the commitment and inspiration of our teachers across the country.
School and individual awards that he has received include:
- Featured in the Society of Manufactured Engineers #MFGis
- Secondary Business and Industry Partnership State Award with NASA and Aviation Academy June, 2015
- ING Unsung Hero October, 2014
- Recognized in the Virginia Living Magazine for Aviation Academy as a Top High School and University 2013 (October 2013 issue)
- Awarded over $70,000 in grant monies from local to national entities such as Alcoa-Howmet, Wal-Mart, The Kinder Morgan and The Virginia Department of Education
- Awarded Society of Manufactured Engineer’s PRIME Award Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education – October 2013
- 2010 National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Award recipient in Dropout Recovery, Intervention and Prevention
- SAFE Program is a national model for the National Dropout Prevention Center
- 2006 WHRO Technology Administrator of the Year Award
- Various Speaking Engagements on the local, state and National levels on various Education topics