Fifty third graders buzzed with excitement as their bus pulled up to the Logan-Cache Airport. They jumped off the bus and walked into the warehouse where an airplane was stored. Most of them “wow-ed” as their eyes adjusted enough to the darkness to see one of Utah State University’s own planes from the aviation technology program. There was a sense of magic in the air that only comes from field trips.
The kids visited the airport on March 1 to learn how airplanes interact with gravity. They made their very own gliders out of Styrofoam plates and watched a presentation about how planes work. It was also a good opportunity for them to take selfies while they sat in the cockpit of a plane. The USU flight team hosted the field trip.
The third grade class photographer Gwyneth Zollinger held her newly made Styrofoam airplane in her hands while she inspected it up close.
“It is fun to be here today because we get to see airplanes and we get to make them,” she said as she threw the glider and watched it drift away. She chased after it, picked it up and repeated the process.
The students just finished a unit in their classes about gravity, so they wanted to see how planes actually overcome it, said Nancy Stewart, a third grade teacher from the Edith Bowen Laboratory School. Stewart said it is great to give the students the hands-on experience they need to remember important concepts like gravity.
“The Edith Bowen Laboratory School really tries to do project-based learning and place-spaced learning, so when the kids can come out to places like the airport they can really see where pilots actually overcome gravity,” she said.
An assistant professor of the aviation technology program, Andreas Wesemann, said the field trip was a great opportunity for the students to not only learn about the science of flying, but also the magic of it. He said he was about the same age as the third graders when he fell in love with aviation. He grew up in Salt Lake right under the airport approach, so he saw airplanes flying overhead all the time. He hoped he could one day grow up to be a pilot.
“It wasn’t until years later that I figured out how to get there and to fulfill my dream,” he said. “Now we can help these third graders achieve their dreams. I love that.”
Wesemann said it is important for everyone, especially the third graders, to have dreams and aspirations.
“My dream of flying airplanes came true,” he said. “If I can pass that on to the next generation of pilots, few things in life are as rewarding.”
Wesemann said not only is the field trip beneficial for the third-graders, but it was also a great opportunity for the USU Flight Team, who hosted the field trip, to teach kids about aviation.
“They came out here to do a service project and they got to explore and we get to explain these concepts to kids,” he said. “It is an opportunity for the flight team to do service and be able to showcase their program to the younger kids.”
The field trip was a chance for the flight team to do community service, said Tyson Daun, a senior studying aviation technology and a member of the club.
“As a team, we participate in competitions, but we also help out in the community with things like this field trip,” he said.
Original article can be found here: http://usustatesman.com