PALMDALE – The Palmdale Aerospace Academy last week welcomed a visit from Supervisor Michael Antonovich and CEO Sachi Hamai of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Assistant Headmaster Matthew Winheim conducted the tour, which highlighted the school’s STEM-based academics and a curriculum based on preparing students for careers in the 21st century. The Academy is a charter school that bases admission on a lottery process that includes students between 7th and 11th grade.
“The Antelope Valley is full of career opportunities in the field of aeronautics and robotics, fields where students are focusing their day to day learning at The Academy,” Winheim said.
Ninth-grade teacher Bob Deason welcomed tour participant into his classroom, room 51, which was referred to in jest as “Area 51” by students.
Antonovich and Hamai interacted with students who were constructing moving vehicles out of everyday objects like balloons and rubber bands. Antonovich advised that although the students had attempted the project several times to no avail, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb on his 1000th try and that he would have been deemed a failure had he given up in the first 999 tries.
The tour continued to Brian Martin’s classroom where students were studying simple machine mechanics. Martin is also the robotics advisor at The Academy and introduced visitors to members of the Academy’s Gryffingear Robotics Team – Lyah French, Devin Balcorta and Christian Perry. Gryffingear is the first rookie team to have taken home the Imagery Award at a recent competition.
The last leg of the tour was delivered by the Supervisor himself. Antonovich spoke to 11th grade students in the gymnasium about his history in politics and the importance of receiving a high quality education that prepares students for careers.
Antonovich welcomed more than a dozen questions from students interested in learning how he became interested in politics and how high his grades were in school. His delivery elicited laughs and ended with a few handshakes from inspired teens.
Winheim added, “We’ve got such great kids here at The Academy. It’s incredible that students were given the opportunity to showcase the depth of our curriculum and what they have accomplished to representatives of the County.”
The Palmdale Aerospace Academy prepares its graduates for college and careers in the 21st century, aligned with workforce needs in the local area and beyond. The educational program emphasizes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills and views academics through the lens of aerospace.