The Southwest Aeronautics, Mathematics, and Science Academy (SAMS) is one of five schools in the nation that offers kids the opportunity to learn how to fly airplanes. As part of the Southwest Learning Centers Charter Schools, the SAMS Academy teaches these kids both in the classroom and online. The schools have already established a record of success with some of the highest test scores in the state.
SAMS Academy is still a school with regular classes like physical education, but students say it’s also preparing them for life. “It’s really cool,” adds SAMS Academy senior William May. “I’ve wanted to fly planes ever since I was little. My grandfather was a structural engineer and he helped design planes.”
“It was very inspiring,” says 8th grade student Sebastian Haughney. “Especially when I was in smart lab because it allows you to go your own way and figure out things.”
School administrators say this formula of learning is working because the parents are more involved in the student’s education and kids are working in teams in what they call smart lab. They say that will better prepare them for their ultimate goal which is to fly.
“It’s something that I’m not able to do at any other school in New Mexico,” says Carina Sicola, a junior at the SAMS Academy. “… so it kind of helps because it’s preparing me for futures that will be so far above other people.”
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