Aerospace Component

Youth Exploring Science

Tim Mulhall supervises the aerospace component. Aerospace involves the topics of aviation and astronomy. Working closely with Boeing, NASA and our own Planetarium, teens will progress through activities around astronomy research, flight and what it’s like to live in space. Teens will learn how to fly an airplane by using advanced flight simulators and Discovery Flights at the St. Louis Downtown Airport through a partnership with Southwest Airlines.

Learn more about Tim Mulhall

Interesting Facts

  • 87: This is the number of pilots needing to be trained DAILY in order to meet the demand in the next 20 years for airliners globally, according to Boeing. That’s one new pilot every 15 MINUTES. 
  • 49:The number of teens who have taken introductory Discovery Flights as part of their learning experiences in the Aerospace component.
  • 769,000: The forecasted need for airplane technicians over the next 20 years. New skillsets are needed to work on ever advancing technological aspects of airplanes, not just aerospace maintenance but also digital troubleshooting and repair. 
  • 200: The number of hours logged in the Saint Louis Science Center’s Redbird SD simulator. This Advanced Aviation Training Device can earn teens hours towards their Private Pilot License when supervised by a Certified Flight Instructor.
  • $140,340: the median annual salary for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers as of May 2018


  • The Boeing Company
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Saint Louis University – Parks College of Aviation
  • Greater St. Louis Flight Instructors Association
  • Southwestern Illinois College – Aviation Department

More about the Component

The Aerospace component spends a great deal of our time out in the community. Our teens take the content knowledge learned around Aerospace topics, design hands-on experiences or events for the public, and take our activities out to those who cannot make it to the Saint Louis Science Center. The teens also designed Aerospace activities for use with groups that attend our community programming outreach efforts at the Taylor Community Science Resource Center. In the past two summers, we have worked with over 7600 kids and adults in a variety of settings such as libraries, hospitals, parks, and community festivals. 
Aerospace teens also fly drones! We have several models of practice drones that are both durable and inexpensive. Cheap drones break easily and cannot be repaired. Future drone pilots need drones that can handle the abuse of crashing (because YOU WILL CRASH the drones) and be capable of repair should they be damaged. The Syma X5C and Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0 are the two models we use to train our teens in proper drone maneuvers. Once they are secure in flying our practice drones, the DJI Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro await them!


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