Aerospace Education





Welcome to Civil Air Patrol's (CAP) Aerospace Education (AE) introduction page.  Aerospace Education is one of the three mission elements of CAP, the other two being Cadet Programs and Emergency Services.  The mission of AE is to educate, inspire, and instill an appreciation for and an understanding of aerospace in today and tomorrow's world.  We promote aerospace to our members and the general public.

Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit, humanitarian corporation established in 1941 and chartered by Congress in 1946. It is also the official auxiliary of the United States Air Force. Public Law 476 established Civil Air Patrol's objects and purposes as follows: "Provide an organization to encourage and aid American citizens in the contribution of their efforts, services, and resources in the development of aviation and in the maintenance of air supremacy, and to encourage and develop by example the voluntary contribution of private citizens to the public welfare. Provide aviation education and training especially to its senior and cadet members; to encourage and foster civil aviation in local communities and to provide an organization of private citizens with adequate facilities to assist in meeting local and national emergencies."

CAP accomplishes its aerospace education mission in a variety of ways, including both an internal and external program as well as sponsorship of the National Congress on Aviation and Space Education (NCASE). Our goal for NCASE is to provide educators with the latest hands-on techniques and tools to help them capture the imaginations of their students. CAP promotes the use of aerospace themes to help educators excite and motivate their students to excel in science, math, technology, language arts, social studies, plus other traditional subjects.  


Teaching Ordinary Subjects in Extraordinary Ways  

Civil Air Patrol (
CAP) promotes and supports aerospace education, both for its own members and the general public. CAP educational programs help prepare American citizens to meet the challenges of a sophisticated aerospace society and understand its related issues.

CAP offers national standards-based educational products, including a secondary textbook, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, and the middle-school-level Aerospace Dimensions. Teachers can get free classroom materials and lesson plans from CAP by joining CAP’s Aerospace Education Membership program.

At Civil Air Patrol, the volunteer auxilliary of the
U.S. Air Force, we're helping develop tomorrow's aerospace workforce.

Through our award-winning Making Aerospace Real for Students (MARS) program, we offer teachers:

  • Free national standards-based aerospace education materials (for homeschoolers, too!)
  • Awards, such as AEX, for schools that adopt aerospace education into their curricula
  • Grants available from Air Force Association to incorporate aerospace into the classroom
  • Low-cost aerospace textbooks for grades 6-12
  • Aerospace education newsletters full of useful information
  • Orientation flights in powered aircraft
  • Aerospace-oriented summer workshops
  • Aerospace education speakers and resources nationwide
  • The nation's premier aerospace education conference for teachers

We offer students (who are CAP Cadets):

  • Orientation flights
  • Encampment opportunities
  • Scholarships
  • Career Exploration Activities


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