Driven by passion and purpose, Captain Barrington Irving is determined to help students everywhere soar by taking them on mind-blowing science expeditions around the world. Born in Jamaica and growing up in Inner City Miami, Captain Irving dreamt of becoming an NFL player until a chance encounter with a pilot introduced aviation to him. However, it wasn’t until his high school social studies teacher, who was far from his favorite teacher, reinforced the idea that aviation could be the beginning of his future in STEM+ that the idea really took root. Even though it was an option that he had never considered, a fire was ignited in him that changed his course and he never looked back. By age 23, he became the youngest person ever and first black pilot to fly solo around the world in his plane “Inspiration,” which he built himself out of donated airplane parts.

Out of that experience, which is now in the Guinness book of World Records, Captain Irving grew his nonprofit, Experience Aviation. Experience Aviation inspires inner city youth to consider careers in STEM+. Captain Irving’s digital curriculum, The Flying Classroom, grew from this work. The Flying Classroom brings the world to students and purpose to learning. A magna cum laude graduate of Florida Memorial University, Capt. Irving has been recognized by Congress acknowledging his pioneering work in Aviation Education and was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2010.