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Youth STEM Academy

Aviation is one of the greatest ways to stimulate youth interest in the STEM disciplines, as learning about flying gliders involves practical, real-world applications of math, science, technology, planning, and operations. Learning to fly a glider also involves a lot of teamwork and communication, building early leadership and critical thinking skills. Our programs are helping develop the next generation of pilots, mathematicians, engineers, scientists, and other STEM-related careers.  

Our Youth STEM Academy programming fulfills a key part of our mission and is offered free of charge to participating youth, The programs are designed for students at the junior high and high school levels and TTSA relies solely on charitable contributions for the funding of all programs.   


Following is an overview of our planned 2023 Youth Stem Academy programs:

Youth Line Crew and Flight School 


This is a May - September youth program for TTAD area students ages 13 to 18, during which they receive  classroom training, flight instruction and work on the airfield under the supervision of and further mentoring by a certificated instructor.

Youth Soaring Day

(Planned/New for 2023)


This is a monthly, one-day event for up to 9 local youth ages 10-18 to where they receive a mini class on the principles of flight, followed by a free soaring flight

Youth Soaring Camp

(Planned/New for 2023)



This is a six-day, Monday through Saturday program for TTAD area youth ages 13 through 18 designed to accelerate their path towards obtaining their glider pilot license  The camp includes ten glider flight lessons, visits to aviation facilities, and evening educational activities.

The young men and women in the STEM Aviation programs are a critical part of making Truckee-Tahoe Soaring Association a success. They help on the flight line to stage and launch gliders, they help our soaring adventure flight patrons into and out of our aircraft, they help our TTSA member private pilots assemble their gliders, and they are part of the “eyes and ears” on the flight line making sure that safety is achieved. They learn responsibility, the value of hard work, and how to work as a team to achieve a goal.

Flight instruction is expensive. Our Youth aviators and Line kids earn credits from their efforts but it in no way pays for the instruction, which can cost up to $8,000 to achieve a private glider rating. The STEM Youth Aviation and Line Crew Training and Line Crew Training program is an immersive experience as all interns participate in almost all aspects of glider port operations. Youth participants are not charged any fee to participate in these programs.

These programs would not be possible without tax deductible donations and grants from the community and others that see the value of this investment in the future of aviation and of the youth participants who will become the ATP's and aviation leaders of the future.

You can help support our Youth STEM Academy 

with a tax deductible Donation.

Click on the link below to make a donation today.

Line crew Golf cart.jpeg
Washing gliders2.jpeg
Ethan in 232.jpeg
Preston earns his CFIG rating
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