New Star Aviation is a youth-serving organization implementing and supporting diverse aerospace-related STEM education programs throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. We use airplanes and drones to share the joy of flying with our youth and work to inspire our next generation to reach for the stars.
With professional expertise in Aerospace Education, Workforce Diversity, Outreach and Inclusion, our involvement with local schools and community partners helps ensure that educational opportunities in aerospace and related STEM fields are inclusive and open to all, especially students traditionally underrepresented in aerospace career fields.
New Star Aviation is also a licensed Commercial Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operator, performing aerial photography, and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Research with a focus on Community Integration, Last-mile delivery and Air Metro urban air transportation as a public transit option. We were awarded a contract with NASA Glenn Office of Education for a summer educational program, and have served Saint Paul Public Schools as community partner. New Star Aviation currently contracts with Ramsey County and J.L. Griffis Twin Cities School providing an afterschool aerospace program.
J.L. Griffis Twin Cities School - Aviation Program
As of August 2019, New Star Aviation operates the Aviation Program as part of J.L. Griffis Twin Cities School, a non-profit organization located in Minneapolis, Minnesota offering Automotive Training, Recording Arts, and Aviation programs.
Advancing Equity in Aerospace Education
Volunteer pilot and ground instructor Michael Johnson's Aerospace Diversity Outreach and Inclusion program includes aviation experiences for participating students. The original objective of New Star Aviation’s Aerospace Diversity Outreach and Inclusion program, funded by The Saint Paul Foundation's Advancing Racial Equity 75th Anniversary grant and personal funds, was to address racial disparities in aerospace careers by increasing educational opportunities for students of color.
We met and exceeded our goals in 2016 by offering aviation experiences and ground instruction to over 150 students, 90% students of color, in partnership with several local non-profit community organizations. We provided scholarships to 3 students of color who initially had little or no knowledge of aerospace and are now actively pursuing aerospace careers.
One of the specific outputs of our Aerospace Diversity Outreach and Inclusion program was to reach at least one student of color who initially had little or no knowledge of aerospace, and help that student become very knowledgable and begin actively pursuing an aerospace career. We exceeded this goal by inspiring at least three students of color to actively pursue a career in aviation.
Jerome Nunn received introductory flights and hands-on experience with general aviation airplanes, and lessons lead by African American pilots and instructors from our program.
As a result of our work and our strengthened partnership with the Circle of Peace Movement, Jerome was awarded a $1,500 scholarship to begin actively pursuing his career in aerospace.
Jerome Nunn recently began working as a Ramp Service Agent for Delta Airlines following an introductory flight. He now plans to attend Hennepin Technical College and has already began using his scholarship toward flight training. With little or no prior knowledge of aerospace, Jerome is now an airline employee with a Student Pilot Certificate actively pursuing a more advanced career in the aerospace industry.
Nilly Rahimi received introductory flights and hands-on experience with general aviation airplanes, and lessons lead by African American pilots and instructors from our program.
As a result of our work and a well established partnership with OBAP Twin Cities ACE Academy, Nilly was awarded a $1,500 scholarship to begin actively pursuing her dream to become a pilot. Nilly graduated from Johnson High School in Saint Paul. She is now currently enrolled at Lake Superior College and has already plans to use her scholarship toward flight training as she pursues a career in the aerospace industry.
New community partnerships formed through the Aerospace Diversity Outreach and Inclusion program have provided several opportunities to combine resources and enhance our program.
New Star Aviation now has a formal partnership and funded contract with Saint Paul Public Schools. We now offer an Introduction to Aerospace with Drones extended day course at Washington Technology Magnet School.
New Star Aviation now has a formal partnership with NASA Glen Research Center. We have been awarded travel funding and education materials as part of the NASA Out of School Learning Network for aerospace education activities in Summer 2017.
We are actively pursuing strategic partnerships with other non-profit organizations to enhance our ability to deliver our programs to students of color in Saint Paul and the surrounding communities with combined resources from multiple funding sources.
During 2015, we continued our work with the Youth Initiative Mentoring Academies using private donations and personal funds.
Partnership with YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.
We hosted an Aviation Day field trip to the Saint Paul Downtown Airport in the Summer of 2016.
This event included 70 diverse students from Maxwell Elementary School in local
aerospace education activities.
Students increased their knowledge of the many aerospace careers and job opportunities in aviation.
New Star Aviation provided hands-on experience with airplanes, military helicopters, and lessons lead by African American pilots and
We partnered with the Circle of Peace Movement to start the Take Flight Leadership program in 2015, in the Rondo Neighborhood of Saint Paul, bringing together law enforcement officers, juvenile offenders, and members of the community to talk about ways to end violence and bring our diverse community together.
We worked closely with Stars of the North-Women in Aviation for Girls in Aviation Day in 2015 and 2016 at the Saint Paul Downtown Airport. In 2016 we hosted an educational exhibit and provided for bus transportation to enable more students of color to attend the event.
We partnered with the Twin Cities ACE Academy program and provided flight opportunities to 17 students of color, as well as parents and visitors, lead by African American pilots and instructors.
Partnership with Boy and Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.
We hosted a second Aviation Day field trip to the Saint Paul Downtown Airport in the Summer of 2016. This event offered aerospace education activities and included 40 students from local Boys and Girls Clubs.
New Star Aviation provided hands-on experience with general aviation airplane, a Boeing 727 commercial airliner, and lessons lead by African American pilot and instructor. Students had the opportunity to meet volunteer pilot with experimental aircraft used for NASA water quality research.
For the final activity on the last day of the grant period, on March 31, 2017 we spent the day inspiring students at Mounds View Area Learning Center to look to the sky with our fully licensed and insured drone. An FAA Airspace Authorization allowed us to fly the drone with the students at Spring Lake Park near the Anoka County Blaine Airport.
Inspiring Our Next Generation to Reach for the Stars.
We are actively seeking community partnerships that complement our programs and are mutually beneficial to the communities we serve.
After completing the Project PoSSUM Citizen-Scientist Advanced Academy and Spacesuit Technician program, we were able to share first-hand knowledge of career opportunities in the emerging Commercial Spaceflight industry.
These space industry contacts lead to a new partnership with The Mars Generation, which was founded by Abigail Harrison (Astronaut Abby) in Saint Paul, Minnesota. We contributed to Abby’s first flight lesson in the Spring of 2017.