Donations needed for high school aviation shop pro

I am a volunteer with the National Air & Space Education Institute, NASEI. We a 501C3 nonprofit that teaches high school students aviation subjects such as aircraft maintenance, engineering and flight training. NASEI started in Frankfort Ky in 2006. Classroom teacher and new pilot Tim Smith started using aviation as a practical way to teach math and science. A wreck of an airplane was acquired and the nonprofit was started. We just moved into a 30,000 SQ.FT. hanger at Bowman Field in Louisville Ky where we are setting up classrooms, labs and an aircraft building and maintenance shop. I am working to get a real nice shop set up. We need donations of shop equipment, hand tools, Shelves, material, tool boxes classroom and office furniture and anything of value that can help us get started. So far we have some hand tools, some welding equipment, a nice Saylor Beall air compressor, a B model Johnson Band Saw and a Baldor pedestal grinder. Any items donated will be used or sold to fund our daily operations. Donations are tax deductible. You can contact myself through this website or email Tim Smith at or 502-320-9490. The website is THE INSTITUTE FOR AEROSPACE EDUCATION | Building Futures in Aerospace

Thanks, Danny Downs

Here is a Letter by Tim Smith to Schools, Facilitators, Principals, and Friends of the Program;

Hello Everyone,

I hope that your new year is off to a good start. I am writing to tell you about all the great things The Institute for Aerospace Education has accomplished in the past year, and to share with you plans for our exciting future.

The Good Work

The institute began its work officially in 2010 and our first year we had nine schools in the program. Over the course of four years we have grown that network to 32 schools, expanded into Tennessee, and are adding new schools every week.

Some of our accomplishments in 2014

Securing the Aerospace Education Center, Hangar 7 at Bowman Field

Development and integration of Morehead State University Space Systems Engineering courses into our network schools. This has led to the first nano-satellite challenge called PocketQube.

Expanding the network to include more Kentucky and Tennessee schools

Development of a Strategic Plan for the Institute

Students had significantly higher STEM achievement and they completed aerospace career pathways.

Further development of the Institute's model for aerospace education to include formal courses, informal challenge/competitions, technical support, and access to the largest aerospace education network in the US.

So we have a lot to be proud of and thankful for. Our most treasured asset is the enthusiasm and success of our students, facilitators, schools, and supporters.

In August, 2014, we began an intensive strategic planning process for the future of the Institute. As a result of that process, a plan was developed that charts a bold new course that will expand our network significantly and bring even more value and variety to the program. These changes are a significant shift, but we believe they are evolutionary and part of the growth process for the organization.

The Big Launch

The first, and most significant, shift is that we are opening up the program to become a National Level program, and will offer the program to any school, anywhere that wants to become a member of the network. In our research, we discovered that there is nothing like our program out there, and that there is a huge demand for what we do.

At the AirVenture event at Oshkosh, people visiting our booth constantly asked me to bring the program to their school. So this is simply a matter of saying “Yes” to what is already happening, and to build a platform to support the effort.

We’ll be announcing this launch officially on February 10th at 5 pm at Hangar 7.

A New Look

As part of this shift, we decided that we needed a name, identity, and image that would work for a program at this level. After much market research and work with students and teachers and our graphic designer, we have decided on a new name and a new look for the program:


We believe this new name is easier to say and remember, communicates exactly what we do, and gives our students and schools a positive identity to be a part of. The logo can be modified by member schools to incorporate the name of the school, so that each school can have its own logo as part of the network. This name will be used as the “trade name” to refer to both the program and organization, although the official corporate name for the organization will become:

The National Air and Space Education Institute.

Please take a minute to look over the attached four-page “brochure” PDF to see the new identity and look in application. We are very excited about this new look and identity and think it will do great things for the program.

Bigger and Better

The third shift will be a significant investment and expansion of the program to create even more value and opportunity for the students. We are making the Space component a fully equal component. We are expanding all other aspects of the program and deepening the curriculum. As an example, student in the aircraft maintenance pathway will graduate having completed the “General” component of the A&P mechanic curriculum.

Perhaps the most important part of this shift is that we will be bringing subject area experts on board to support each facet of the program. I am happy to announce that Jen Carter is on board as our Director of Space Systems and is already doing a great job expanding the program and supporting the schools in our network who have been doing Cricket Satellite launches this fall. We believe that this additional capacity will bring the program to life in new ways and make each of our pathways fulfilling, as well as provide a richer and deeper level of support to our network members. Other directors we plan to bring on board will focus on Aviation, Engineering, Mechanics and Manufacturing.

A Fresh Start

Also, as part of this shift, I will be working full time now as Executive Director and CEO of the program. As many of you know, I have been running this program in addition to my full time position as CIO of the Frankfort Independent School District. They have been an amazing supporter and sponsor of the program since its inception. But the growth of the program and its demands required a change. So, I am happy to announce that as of the first of the year, I can now devote my entire energy to the development, implementation, and growth of the program. I am very excited about the opportunity and and the ability to work more closely with you and the students.

Our New Home

I am also happy to announce that we now have an official home for the program: Hangar 7, Bowman Field, Louisville, Kentucky. This is an amazing facility and location.

While it is currently in a bit of rough condition, it has over 15,000 square feet of office space, an equal amount of hangar space, its own apron, and is located both just off Cannons Lane and has direct access to the runways. It gives us all the capacity we will need for school programs, teacher training, offices, summer camps, maintenance and restoration programs, as well as hangar space for all our aircraft and projects. At this point in time, the building needs work. With the help of our volunteers, we are currently making the space livable and functional. Over the course of the next year, we will be conducting a capital campaign to raise funds to turn the facility into a 21st Century Aerospace Education Facility. But for now, it is good to have a place we can call our own.

While our roots (and our very successful program at Frankfort High School) will always be in Frankfort, we are very excited to call Louisville and Bowman Field home. We believe this location gives us the central location and visibility needed for the program to grow. Louisville is a central location, located within 500 miles of 50% of the US population. It is easy to get to via air travel and roads and offers all the amenities of a major city. Our new facility is located less than a mile from the Cannons Lane exit off I-64, making it easy to find and drive to. The Louisville Regional Airport Authority has been extremely supportive and helpful in making this facility available and possible and we look forward to working in partnership with them to bring new energy and opportunity to Bowman Field. It is also exciting to be located on Bowman Field. It is a busy, active, historic airport. It is the first commercial airport in Kentucky, and the oldest continually operating airport in America. Where our facility is located, on the eastern part of the field, was originally a facility for education aviators and flight nurses during WWII. It is exciting to become a part of this history and the dynamic and vital aviation community here.

The Bottom Line

Finally, beginning with the 2015 school year, we will begin charging a network fee for the schools in our program. This fee will go to support all the operational expenses of the program including curriculum development, support staff, and our facility. While we regret to some extent having to do this, it is a positive step forward for building an organization that can provide a deeper and broader level of support, reach more students, and stand on its own. This program has grown from a grass roots program supported by volunteers into something much larger with a greater reach and scope than can be supported in that way. We will work with all the schools programs in our network to make sure that this transition accommodates their needs and abilities.

Our Thanks

However, with all our energy focused on these big and exciting plans, we will not forget the most important part of this program: YOU. This program would not exist without your participation and support. As we go around to new schools talking about the program we discuss the curriculum and design and competition and all the great elements of the program. But the part we always come back to as the great strength of the program is the community and network of all the people doing the work, whether they are students, teacher/facilitators, administrators, parents, volunteers, flight instructors, Young Eagle Flight pilots, etc. You make the program come alive.

We thank you for your support. As we stand on the brink of this new phase of our development, we are here to ask you for an even higher level of support. Our growth cannot happen without it. We ask that you spread the word about the program, and if you come into contact with a school that might be interested in becoming part of the network, or a person who could be a source of support, please tell them about us and help us get connected to them.

Finally, as I sit here in Hangar 7 at Bowman Field, I can only reflect back on our course and know that it was good. I can also imagine a future where we provide the opportunity for more kids to have a more purposeful educational experience where they can achieve their dreams. These students may be the next astronaut/pilot, engineer/designer, master mechanic, air traffic controller, and many other fields in aerospace. We also know that our work provides the students opportunities to learn perseverance, persistence, problem solving, professionalism, integrity, and many other traits that make a good citizen and person. Not only are we “Building Futures in Aerospace”, we are BUILDING FUTURES! We want you to get on board and let's have a memorable flight!

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