Elizabeth City State University

College and Career Pathways to Aerospace/Aviation through Authentic and Experiential STEM Learning Activities

The goal of Student Science Enrichment Program (SSEP) project at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is to improve college readiness and develop career pathways to high demand aerospace/aviation fields by engaging students, family members and teachers through authentic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experience. The key components of the proposed project are (i) Curriculum Enhancement Activities (CEA), (ii) Aerospace Laboratory Experience (ALE), and (iii) Family Participation (FP).

The SSEP project at ECSU adopts Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) advance career (AC) and NASA STEM curriculum at its core and integrates 3D printing technology, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) design, and sensor-based measurement systems to enhance authentic and experiential learning experiences. The SSEP project at ECSU also features the Family Participation, a forum that provides parents/guardians with information, resources, and support needed to become an active partner in their children's education.

Summer residential camps and yearlong Friday/Saturday academies expose students to CEAs and ALE, delivered in an inquiry-based instructional format. The hands-on aviation and aerospace related STEM activities are designed to inspire and engage students in problem-based learning and scientific inquiry. The learning activities are carefully designed to meet the National Science Standards and the North Carolina Standard Course of Study for Science and Mathematics. Guest speakers and field trips complement in-class learning. In addition, eligible high school students (up to 30/year) participating in the SSEP project receive support to pursue dual enrollment courses.

The project is expected to directly impact at least 540 students, where each student will have received over forty-five (45) hours of enhanced STEM learning. Teachers will also receive continued support throughout the academic year which will allow them to implement learning modules into their science classes, share them with other teachers, and replicate similar activities at their respective schools.


Kuldeep S Rawat
Associate Professor and Department Chair
Department of Technology
Elizabeth City State University