South County Cadet Squadron 232
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AVAS 2020





About the Presentation

Design-Build-Fly (DBF) is a unique “how-to roadmap” enabling students and teachers with a comprehensive, easily understandable, low-cost introduction to the D-B-F process.  Subjects and activities, in sequence, include: form vs. function, 3-view design sketching, quick-build flying prototypes using index cards, foam plates, coffee stir-sticks, soda straws, and other at-hand materials, and examples of a very wide range of easy-build gliders and powered models.

The resultant models are the hands-on tools for teaching aerodynamics and following the D-B-F process, the focus can then shift to an awareness of emerging technologies and mission-specific design process and presentation

About the Presenter

1st Lt John Anderson is a member of California Wing Saddleback Composite Squadron 68 where he serves as squadron Aerospace Education Officer.  Fascinated with flight and model aviation since early childhood, Lt Anderson started his career as a Combat Engineer in the United States Army.

Since that time, Lt Anderson has held numerous professional roles including Aerospace Technical Art Director/Writer, Configuration Manager for the NASA/JPL Deep-Space Tracking Network, and Industrial Designer.  Lt Anderson has developed several award-winning designs for the City of Anaheim Advanced Planning department and served as a Board Member of the California Planner Emeritus Network and Director of Harbor Soaring Society RC Club.

Lt Anderson also holds several patents including several for aerodynamically stabilized, wind propelled, rolling disk toys.

Download Presentation Materials

For individuals that wish to follow along with the presentation, and teachers that wish to use this program in the classroom, the program guidebook referenced in the presentation is available for download here: Design-Build-Fly Workbook


Civil Air Patrol’s (CAP) involvement with Aerospace Education was established formally by the Congress in 1947 and the Mission Statement is as follows:

“Supporting America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development, and promotion of air, space and cyber power.”

CAP's Aerospace Education efforts focus on two different audiences: volunteer CAP members and the general public.  The programs ensure that all involved (seniors, educators, and cadets) have an appreciation for and knowledge of aerospace issues.  The CAP Aerospace Education program offers over 450 classroom ready projects available electronically for Aerospace Education Officers, classroom & homeschool teachers, and youth organizations.


Internal Aerospace Program

The internal aerospace education program has two parts: cadet and senior. Cadets complete aerospace education as one of the requirements to progress through the achievement levels of the cadet program. Senior members have a responsibility to become knowledgeable of aerospace issues and the AE program that CAP provides. Cadet and senior members are further encouraged to share the information obtained with their local communities, schools, and the general public.

External Aerospace Program

CAP's external aerospace programs are conducted through our nation's educational system. Each year CAP sponsors many workshops in states across the nation, reaching hundreds of educators and thereby thousands of young people.  These workshops highlight basic aerospace knowledge and focus on advances in aerospace technology.  CAP's Aerospace Education Members (AEM) receive more than 450 free aerospace education—STEM classroom-ready materials.

CAP STEM Kit Program

The Civil Air Patrol’s STEM Kit program provides STEM resources for hands-on, inquiry-based learning.  The STEM Kit program has been providing a selection of STEM Kits to CAP Unit Aerospace Education Officers (AEOs) and CAP educator members since January 23, 2013, to educate the next generation STEM workforce.

The kits come at no cost to recipients, are designed to enhance current CAP educational curriculum and programs and will be ready for immediate implementation. CAP Unit AE Officers (or commanders), as well as CAP members who are educators, including AFJROTC instructors, can select one kit from the available options.

Please go here to find out more about the available kits:  STEM Kits


AE Membership

Join CAP as an Aerospace Education Member (AEM) and become eligible for FREE STEM Kits!  As an AEM you have access to the large volume of curriculum and STEM projects focusing on aerospace.  The curriculum is applicable to grades K-12 and includes:

  • Aerospace for the Very Young (Grades K-3)

  • Robotics (Grades 6-12)

  • AEX – Middle School Physical Science (Grades 6-9)

A complete list of available resources is available here: CAP Free AE Resource List
More information on becoming an AEM is available here:  Join as an AEM

Teacher Orientation Program (TOP) Flights

One of the most exciting benefits of being a Civil Air Patrol Aerospace Education Member (AEM) is the opportunity to take a Teacher Orientation Program (TOP) flight in a CAP airplane, with an experienced CAP pilot, at a local airport.  This exhilarating program includes a pre-flight briefing, an actual airplane flight, and educational applications to share with students!   

More information on TOP Flights is available here:  TOP Flights

CAP Aerospace Excellence (AEX) Program

CAP’s program that brings hands-on aviation and space-related activities is known as the AEX program.  Both CAP Members and AEM’s can participate.  Participants are involved in hands-on aviation and STEM related activities.  Participants are provided full-color books that contain standards-driven Aerospace/STEM activities.

More information about the AEX Program is available here: AEX Program

K-6 Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) Program

The CAP ACE program is a fun, interactive Aerospace/STEM program for CAP Educator Members who teach grades K-6.  The ACE Program provides comprehensive lesson plans for kindergarten through sixth grade.

More information about the AEX Program is available here:  ACE Program


More information about the CAP National organization is available here:  Civil Air Patrol
More information on membership and how to locate your local CAP unit is available here:  California Wing Civil Air Patrol
More information about CAP Aerospace Education programs and other resources is available here:  CAP Aerospace Education


CAP California Wing Aerospace Education Staff

CAWG Director of Aerospace Education
Lt Col Roger Dunn, CAP, USAF (Ret)

Deputy Director of Aerospace Education – South
Lt Col Thomas Hoekstra, CAP

Deputy Director of Aerospace Education – North
Maj Mark Fridell, CAP

CAWG Internal Aerospace Education Officer
Maj Catherine Collom, CAP

Project Staff and Special Thanks

  • 1st Lt John Anderson, CAP

  • Lt Col Rich Radvanyi, CAP, USAF (Ret)

  • Capt Thomas Sabatino, CAP

  • Maj Mark Fridell, CAP

  • 2nd Lt Samantha Moat, CAP

  • 2nd Lt Stephen White, CAP

  • 2nd Lt Edward Kwak, CAP

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