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About Us

Removing barriers and paving pathways in the STEAM field since 1992

Airway Science for Kids, Inc. (ASK) is a nonprofit with a mission to remove barriers for children and youth who have been systematically excluded from STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education and careers. Founded as a nonprofit in 1992, ASK engages youth of color and youth who are living on low-incomes in unique opportunities to learn about STEAM through the exciting world of flight.

Our founder, Bob Strickland, was a leader in Portland’s African American community who saw aeronautics as a tool to capture the imaginations of youth at critical ages and transitions. Today, ASK’s mission is to create equity through aviation STEAM education. We draw strength from our unique approach to closing the opportunity gap for historically underserved children in the fields of aeronautics and STEAM, from our strong base of community support, and from our culturally responsive board and staff.

ASK provides…

  • Programs to kids who typically don’t participate in STEAM education, such as kids of color, kids living on low-incomes, girls, and other kids who may face barriers; where all kids are welcome.

  • Age-appropriate programs at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

  • An opportunity for high school students to build a real plane.

  • Our curriculum and technical assistance to groups around the country and the world who are offering aviation STEAM education to kids.

ASK serves youth ages 10-21 in acquiring the fundamentals of aviation and aerodynamics and the applied mathematics and engineering that drive them. While open to all youth, ASK strives to increase STEAM exposure to low income and youth of color.

Our Mission

Airway Science for Kids creates equity through aviation STEAM* education.

* Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math

Equity Definition

Airway Science for Kids seeks to bring about equitable, creative environments which meet individual’s needs and capacities to thrive within our communities. By providing equitable aviation and STEAM educational experiences in related environments, we seek to embrace each individual, their family and communities as well as offer a network of human services on a human level ~ Thus, equity is humanity. We are here to eradicate inequitable environments by embracing our need to serve the underserved and disenfranchised communities and individuals. – Yolanda Frazier, DEI Consultant


  • Teamwork: Accomplish our work together, each offering something different. Balance expertise with inclusion.

  • Fun: Fun is our essential fuel. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing. Be lighthearted and positive.

  • Leadership: Listen to others, look for strengths, and facilitate contribution. Be self-reflective.

  • Innovation: On the cutting edge, failure is our friend. Be curious and take risks. We determine success.

  • Trust: Act according to values. Do what you say you’re going to do. Build relationships that respect differences.

  • Continuous improvement: Challenge assumptions. Ask what could be better. Let people learn from their actions.

  • Equity: Open career trajectories that allow the future to reflect the diversity of our people. Work effectively
    cross-culturally. Take responsibility for our impact.

  • Discipline. Strive for excellence. Manage the details. Remember that the main thing is the main thing.

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