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DOAV Sponsors Annual VAST Conference

The Virginia Department of Aviation attended the annual Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) conference in Williamsburg Nov. 10-12. As one of the main sponsors of the professional development institute, DOAV was a featured exhibitor and had the opportunity to share its various programs with approximately 500 teachers.

The Public Relations and Education team provided information to teachers about its three student scholarships, teacher’s grant, art contest, ambassador program and Weaver scholarship. The main attraction and centerpiece to the event was the ICON A5 light sport amphibious aircraft.

The DOAV Introduction to Flight team was on hand to educate teachers about its free program that brings the ICON A5 aircraft on a trailer to schools, career days and other events at no charge to the educational group. The conference kicked off with a “Night with the Exhibitors”, which featured the Virginia Department of Aviation’s “A Passport to Travel”.

Teachers utilized a boarding ticket and passport to visit the ICON A5 in a spacious display area outside the Double Tree by Hilton hotel. Educators were able to ask DOAV staff questions about what programs they could use in their classrooms. Numerous teachers requested that the DOAV Introduction to Flight team visit their school in 2023.

The second day of the conference featured a full schedule for exhibitors and various educational sessions for teachers. Public Relations and Education Manager Betty Wilson led a session about DOAV’s aviation education programs. During an evening reception, Wilson received a VAST Rise award on behalf of the DOAV Public Relations and Education team.

The conference concluded with keynote speaker Dr. Bruce Holmes leading a presentation titled, “Hey Dude! Where’s my Flying Car?” Dr. Holmes, who was instrumental in helping DOAV acquire its ICON A5 aircraft, shared stories about how big of an impact the Introduction to Flight team has made in educating students about aviation across the Commonwealth.

Several raffles were held throughout the event and the Department of Aviation awarded a STEM educational kit to teacher Barbara Adcock of Powhatan County Schools. Jon Collins of Amherst County Schools and Stephanie Harry of Tabb High School were among the teachers who received drones as prizes from raffles.

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