The health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority. View a summary of actions we are taking to help ensure we are lowering COVID-19 risk at our in-person ACE Academies.

Aerospace Career Education (ACE) Academy

OBAP's Aerospace Career Education (ACE) Academy provides middle and high school youth with exposure to opportunities in aerospace through week-long summer academies.

Endorsed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), OBAP has played a leading role in establishing ACE Academies nationwide to introduce, educate and guide diverse students towards careers in aerospace.

In 1992, OBAP partnered with the FAA to support two ACE Academies reaching 41 students. In 1994, the organization co-sponsored 17 academies and reached more than 400 students. To date, OBAP’s 30+ ACE Academies have engaged more than 30,000 youth.

2021 ACE Academy registration is closed.

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OBAP's immersive ACE Academies are tailored to provide exposure to the history of aviation, fundamentals of aerodynamics, air traffic control procedures, aerospace technologies and introductions to aerospace careers. Now in 35 locations including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, with two terms in Memphis and Louisville, the program engages 1,100 students on an annual basis.

“Following the ACE Academy experience, I attended the Air Force Academy earning a degree in Space Operations and a pilot slot. I have been blessed to accomplish many firsts in my career, including being only the 6th black pilot ever to fly the U-2S. I would love to do anything I can to give back to OBAP and encourage students, showing them that anything is truly possible.” 

- Captain Brandon Jones, U.S. Air Force, ACE Academy participant

ACE Academy Locations

National ACE Academy Director


Geoff Berry

National ACE Academy Director
Southwest Airlines - Captain

Our COVID-19 Policy

 The health and safety of our students and staff remain our highest priority. Below, you will find a summary of actions we are taking to help ensure we are lowering COVID-19 risk as much as possible. We are:

  • Intensifying cleaning and disinfection practices within our ACE Academy classrooms, facilities, and premises by cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least twice daily such as drinking fountains, door handles. Shared items such as art supplies and classroom materials will be shared prior to being used by another student. We will also be cleaning and disinfecting transport vehicles (e.g., buses or vans), and ensuring the safe and correct use and storage of disinfectants.
  • Ensuring our academy staff will space out parents and students during drop-off and pick-up by putting tape on the floors (and walls, if applicable) to indicate 6-foot spacing.
  • Limiting the number of items that are shared or touched between students and staff. Examples will be providing individual writing materials to each student, keeping a student’s belongings separated from others, and placing them individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
  • Providing disposable utensils and dishes along with pre-packaged boxes or bags when food and drinks are provided. Academies will socially distance students during lunch breaks and other times when meals are provided.
  • Placing students into small groups when permissible during in-person field trips. 
  • Promoting healthy hygiene practices. All ACE locations will have hand sanitizers and hand soap available and accessible to students, volunteers, staff, and guest speakers. Academy staff will place an emphasis on the importance of washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizers have an alcohol concentration of at least 60% alcohol. Everyone will be encouraged to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or to use the inside of their elbow. Signs will be posted about these healthy habits around OBAP’s ACE Academies.
  • Ensure everyone including students, volunteers, guest speakers, and staff must wear a mask or cloth face covering at all times, especially in places when physical distancing is difficult. The exception to this rule will be when individuals are actively eating or drinking.
  • If a child does get sick at an academy, we have identified an area where they can rest, be watched after, and safely isolate themselves from others. We will communicate with parents or caretakers directly and, if necessary, arrange for the child to be taken to a healthcare facility for care. 

We ask that you help us protect the health of students this summer. Anyone who is sick or was sick with COVID-19 or recently in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days— including staff, students, and families— should not participate in the program. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick.

If you have a specific question about this plan or COVID-19, please contact Geoff Berry at gberry@obap.org for more information. You can also find more information about COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Contact the ACE Academy Team