How we do it
Wonders of Aviation (WOA) is a community of aviation professionals which use our collective experience to help tomorrow’s aviation leaders. We share our knowledge with all interested organizations, but focus the majority of our effort helping affiliates, such as Wonders of Aviation South Africa (WOA SA), and identifying champions who will promote our idea around the world.
Wonders of Aviation South Africa
WOA SA is a not for profit that supports the South African government’s commitment to having all South African institutions reflect the composition of that country’s population. This commitment is implemented though policies and laws that support outreach programs, as well as, the education and training of the previously disadvantaged.
WOA SA helps aeronautical institutions by supporting the development of future leaders. When an institution selects an exceptional teenager, as an Award Winner, that institution commits to covering the out-of-pocket costs of that winner’s participation in the training and educational activities provided by WOA SA, and provides a mentor for the Award Winner. These institutions are also the source of employment.
WOA SA obtains funding for its activities from a combination of governmental agencies, corporate entities, individuals, and funding provided by WOA a 501 c 3 corporation that is incorporated in Washington State. Our South African support is provided by the government, ACA Associates, Aero Club of South Africa, Airlines Association of Southern Africa, Air Traffic and Navigation Services, Boeing, Comair Ltd., Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR), GE, Jonker Sailplanes, Mango Airlines, National Aerospace Center, SA Express, South African Airways, and South African Weather Service.
Kitsap County, Washington State
Wonders of Aviation’s initial focus in the United States is
on Kitsap County. This county is on the Western side of Puget Sound, but the
county lacks the aviation educational resources that exist in King and Snohomish Counties, which is where Boeing’s Renton
and Everett production facilities are located. WOA works with school
districts, municipal governments, and other interested parties by sharing best
practices learned in South Africa and the experience of individuals who live in
Kitsap County and want to help. These aviation professionals started a book
share program with South Africa which is described below.
Skills Development & Scholarship Funders
- WOA USA together with Washington State Opportunity Scholarship encourages teenagers to pursue a career in aviation and aerospace.
- WOA SA together with the National Aerospace Centre at Wits University assists exceptional students with scholarships to some of South Africa's leading universities. These scholarships can cover graduate work with funding provided by the South African government's Department of Trade and Industry and many of the world's leading aerospace companies, including Airbus from the European Union and Boeing from the USA.
The Wright Brothers created the single greatest cultural force since the invention of writing. The airplane became the first World Wide Web, bringing people, languages, ideas, and values together.
Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft Corporation
South African Book Share Programme
Books have had a profound impact on most of our lives and the Book Share Program was created to enable aviation professionals to share their “special” book with teenagers who aspire to careers in aviation. The program was structured so that the donor and book become the foundation of an intra generational discussion. This is accomplished by having the donor provide the initial input regarding why the book was “special” and use that information as the foundation for a blog which will grow to with the thoughts of each person who reads the book. As a result, each book have its own blog which is accessible through www.wondersofaviation-southafrica.org
Funding and Programs
WOA’s activities are supported by a combination of governmental, industry, and individual support.
The funding will be used for the following activities:
- Air traffic management training, including a tour of the Johannesburg control tower.
- Pilot training, including time on an Airbus and Boeing simulator.
- Academic training, including a tour of Wits Universities supersonic labs.
- General Aviation training, including flight time in a GA aircraft.
- Aircraft design, including a tour of CSI’s wind tunnels.
- Life skills training such as, budgeting, writing, critical thinking, project planning and execution.
- Critical thinking training, using the Book Share program.
Leadership Training and Team Building Activities
- Day spent learning the safety protocol of preparing a glider for flight and then flying a glider.
- Day spent welcoming the next year’s Award Winners, presenting individual awards for exceptional performance during the prior year, participating in the joint Aero Club and WOA Award Dinner.
- Innovation training, including a day at GE’s Center of Innovation where the participants learn GE’s method of structuring problem solving groups.
Social Equity Activities
- Participating in industry outreach activities and acquiring resumes on youngsters who want a career in aviation.
- Working with Unity Secondary School to create an aviation program.
- Learning how to plan and execute an outreach program.
- Mentoring individuals with less experience.
Sharing Best Practices
- Evaluating past year’s performance based on pre agreed metrics.
- Sharing knowledge of the results of that performance review.
- Preparing material, if required, to help increase the use of the best practices.