OSHKOSH, WI -- Aug. 1, 2013 – Today at EAA AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, the world’s leader in aerospace and aviation higher education Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Kiddie Hawk Air Academy (KHAA), a nonprofit dedicated to sparking a love of aviation in children, announced an exclusive partnership to lead educational and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) programs for the next generation.
Emceed by air show announcer “Sky Talker” Danny Clisham, the joint announcement took place Thursday morning at the Kiddie Hawk/Living Legends of Aviation display in KidVenture at Oshkosh. It featured Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz., Campus Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers, one of the newest Living Legends of Aviation and only FAA-certified acrobatic helicopter pilot in the Americas Chuck Aaron and longtime Living Legend and founder of Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, Fla., Kermit Weeks. Earlier in the week, KHAA received the AirVenture Oshkosh 2013 Service Award.
Kiddie Hawk organizers and special guests travel around the country to air shows, schools, hospitals and other events to educate children ages 4 to 9 about the world of aviation. The partnership with the university expands this outreach via programs within the university’s STEM Academy, summer camp opportunities for school-age children, and university and KHAA volunteers and staff coordinating as mentors.
Embry-Riddle is the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace as a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs at its residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and more than 150 locations around the globe as part of Embry-Riddle Worldwide.
This relationship also connects the university to KHAA’s annual fundraiser the Living Legends in Aviation Awards, which has honored such aviation notables as astronaut Buzz Aldrin, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, actor/pilots Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Morgan Freeman, commercial pilot Sully Sullenberger, pilot/author and Embry-Riddle alum Barry Schiff and Emily Howell Warner, the first woman to pilot a major American passenger flight.
“It’s an honor for our university to team with Kiddie Hawk and the Living Legends,” said Embry-Riddle Vice President of Marketing and Enrollment Management Bill Hampton. “We share a common goal of bringing that love of flight not just to our current students and alumni, but also to children who come to air shows like this and say: ‘One day, that’ll be me.’ This partnership will help make that dream come true, and continue to foster generations of talented pilots, astronauts and innovators for many years to come.”
KHAA produces its annual fundraiser the “Living Legends of Aviation” Awards gala each January in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Living Legends are defined as aviation entrepreneurs, innovators, record breakers, industry leaders, astronauts, pilots who have become celebrities and celebrities who have become pilots. Two recent recipients of this year’s award were astronauts Neil Armstrong (Carol Armstrong accepted) and Gene Cernan. As the Living Legends “Official Ambassador of Aviation,” pilot/actor John Travolta will host the 2014 event.
“Kiddie Hawk Air Academy and the ‘Living Legends of Aviation’ are extremely excited to be partnering with such an amazing educational institution as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University,” said the nonprofit’s Executive Director Stacey Elsner. “I have had several conversations with our Legends regarding this partnership and every one of them has expressed their support and excitement for the potential that this partnership will create. This partnership gives Kiddie Hawk, Legends and Embry-Riddle the ability to have a substantial impact on today's youth to create the Legends of tomorrow through inspiration and education."
Kiddie Hawk is displaying in this year’s Oshkosh in the KidVenture area at D7 with its airplane Trainers, kinetic motion flight simulators specially designed for children, as well as the newest addition to their fleet, the Kiddie Kopter. Also at the display is the “Legends and Guests” stage where aviation Legends and special guests will be on-hand throughout the week to answer questions, offer mentor and informational forums for children (schedule available in EAA Daily). Embry-Riddle’s tent at Oshkosh in the Education and Interactive Zone includes aircraft from its training fleets at both its residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.
About Kiddie Hawk Air Academy/Living Legends of Aviation Awards
Founded by aeronautical engineer and pilot William “Bill” Marcy in 1996 the goal of the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy is to introduce children to aviation by incorporating the Trainer, a kinetic motion flight simulator specially designed for youth, and a curriculum that includes aviation mechanics, history and career opportunities. The goal of the program is to spark a passion as well as develop a sense of appreciation and interest in aviation that will carry on into their adult years. With this, KHAA also strives to inspire kids to achieve academic excellence in order to enter into aviation-related careers. In 2008 the Kiddie Hawk Air Academy assumed the production of the “Living Legends of Aviation” Awards Gala each year as its annual fundraiser. Past winners of the awards include Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, Sully Sullenberger, Sir Richard Branson, John Travolta, Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman, who in his acceptance speech called the award “the Academy Award of Aviation.” For more information on KHAA, visit Kiddiehawkairacademy.org. For more on Living Legends of Aviation, go to livinglegendsofaviation.org and follow the Legends on Twitter (@AviationAwards).