Rising Above the Obstacles

Presenter: Barrington Irving
Conference Tracks: 
Session Description: 
How can we fuse the passion to explore, the skill to fly around the world, and the ability to make science, technology, engineering and math real and relevant to our students?  Better yet, how can we help teachers introduce STEM+ without being a subject matter expert in these fields?  Answering these questions led Barrington to create the Flying Classroom, an interactive learning adventure that took him to six continents, where he carried out 30 powerful ground, air, and sea expeditions exploring real-life applications of STEM +. Throughout his trips, students nationwide followed his adventures through their science curriculums that accessed videos and a real-time blog on www.flyingclassroom.com.
Presenter Bio:
Captain Barrington Irving has traveled to 50 countries, conducted more than 30 STEM expeditions, and  successfully challenged middle school students to build a car faster than a Ferrari 430 and then high schoolers to build a plane he flew on its test flight. In 2007, he set two world records—at age 23—as the youngest person and first black pilot to fly solo around the world. He has a passion to explore, inspire, and educate others. Now 32, Barrington has developed a Flying Classroom curriculum (flyingclassroom.com) that transforms the way students learn STEM: in following his global expeditions, they engage in problem-solving activities that enable them to overcome new challenges. 

Before founding the Flying Classroom, Barrington created a nonprofit, Experience Aviation, which offers hands-on, STEM-based programs and career guidance to middle and high school students in Florida, Texas, and Georgia. 

Born in Kingston, Jamaica and brought up in inner-city Miami, Barrington was inspired to pursue aviation at age 15, when a Jamaican airline pilot offered to mentor him.  He rejected college football scholarships to pursue a career in STEM and never looked back. 

A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Florida Memorial University, Barrington was the recipient of a Congressional Resolution acknowledging his pioneering work in aviation education.  He received the Guinness World Record as the youngest person to fly solo around the world and was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2012.