A new hands-on science program focused on aviation debuted this year at O’Connell College Preparatory School in Galveston, making it one of the few schools in the state that prepares students to take a private pilot’s license exam upon completion of the program.

The school uses curriculum designed by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, counselor Paula Lamb said. It’s one of only 300 schools in the country approved to use the curriculum, according to the association’s website.

At the end of the year, students can take the Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot written exam or a remote pilot knowledge test for flying drones, she said.

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