Science & Technology

UWF hosts first Super ACE teacher training held at National Flight Academy USS Argo

 The University of West Florida is hosting the inaugural teacher training session at the National Flight Academy (NFA) USS Argo, the first Super Aviation Classroom Experience (ACE) facility. The training will take place July 30 through August 3 in Building 77, Room 145 at the UWF main campus. The training program, developed at UWF, will be the model for all future Super ACE facilities as the program expands and new classrooms open at institutions throughout the US.

The group includes teachers from Annette Island in Alaska, and Florida teachers from Merritt Island in Brevard County, Oak Ridge High School in Orange County, and Escambia and Santa Rosa County schools, and will be led by Dr. Dave Dawson and Preston Obray of UWF. This first group of teachers have been identified as the lead teachers for the ACE classrooms in their respective schools and districts, and the training will be observed and evaluated by two visitors from the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) as the Navy considers developing a long-term partnership with the NFA to develop and enhance the Navy’s own training programs.

The USS Argo, opened in March of 2012, is designed to give teachers the experience and training needed to use new and developing technologies to spark an increased interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines among middle- and high-school students. UWF is the first higher education facility in the US to be equipped with one of these classrooms, and is a member of the first Center of Inspiration, a partnership between the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation and Escambia and Santa Rosa County school districts that was created to better serve Northwest Florida by transforming STEM education for students.

During the teachers’ visit, a tour of the second National Flight Academy facility, the Ambition, is also planned. Opened in May, the Ambition is a 102,000-square-foot simulated aircraft carrier housed in the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola’s Naval Air Station. It provides middle- and high-school students with the opportunity to engage in a multi-day learning adventure aboard the replica ship, working on missions that align with the STEM disciplines, such as search-and-rescue missions and hurricane hunting.

For more information about the NFA, please visit