New Program at TISD Will Allow Students to Build Airplane


TEXARKANA ISD (December 15, 2021) – Texarkana ISD is proud to announce a partnership that will provide students with a new hands-on learning opportunity in aerospace engineering. During Wednesday’s meeting, the Texarkana Board of Trustees approved a partnership with Tango Flight, an innovative course in which students build virtually all of a full-sized, fully operational airplane in school. Along with the aviation and aerospace classroom portion of the curriculum, students will work together to build an RV-12iS – a two-seater, light-sport aircraft.

“As a district with a strong innovative spirit, we are thrilled to introduce yet another STEM opportunity that sets us apart, promotes career exploration and gives our students a leg up on their futures,” said Texarkana ISD Superintendent Dr. Doug Brubaker. “This program will change the trajectory of some of our students’ paths.”

Tango Flight is an educational non-profit company created to inspire the next generation of engineers, pilots, aviation mechanics and technicians. Through a specially-developed curriculum, the program reinforces STEM learning and provides unique learning opportunities for every student, regardless of his or her career aspirations. According to the company, many Tango Flight students receive scholarships to attend top engineering schools, while others have taken advantage of the Tango opportunity to land jobs in the aviation industry.

“There is a growing demand for employees in the aviation, aerospace and outer space industries. Whether its pilots, engineers or aviation mechanics and technicians, the demand increases every year. These opportunities represent high-paying, high-reward job opportunities for young people. Tango Flight helps connect students to those opportunities,” said Craig Anthony, Director of Development, Tango Flight Inc.

Texarkana ISD is one of only 20 districts in the nation to have a Tango Flight program and, in the coming school year, Texas High School will be one of only five schools in the state of Texas building a Tango Flight aircraft. The Texas Pioneer Foundation has approved a $49,400 grant to the Texarkana Public Schools Foundation to fund half of the aircraft kit and first year annual fee for the program.

“As a Board, we are committed to provide our students with STEM opportunities that are innovative and meaningful, as well as opportunities and skillsets necessary to be smart, competitive and successful adults,” said Texarkana ISD Board President Fred Norton, Jr. “The Tango Flight program will go beyond anything our students have experienced before, and we cannot wait to see the aircraft our students build.”

Tango Flight is currently working with industry leaders to introduce Industry-based certifications for the coming school year. Industry-based certifications (IBC) ensure students have the skillsets that the aviation and aerospace communities are looking for in future employees.

This past month, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University established a “Tango Flight” scholarship, exclusively for students in the Tango Flight program, who wish to pursue a college degree in engineering. This scholarship will be worth up to $20,000.

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