Barrington Irving, Founder, Experience Aviation
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 high schoolers to build a plane he then 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 at 35, Barrington is still an explorer that investigates real world STEM problems across the globe. Established by Captain Irving in 2014, the Flying Classroom is a K-8 STEM+ digital curriculum that challenges students to design innovative solutions to problems he investigates. 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, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and counting.
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. Rejecting college football scholarships, he pursued 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.