Again, life has gotten in the way of my writing, but trust me a LOT has been going on recently! But earlier this month I had an opportunity through my Women in Aviation chapter to volunteer to teach 5th and 6th graders about aviation for their school’s Science Day. I was thrilled to be able to share aviation with the younger generation! I also enjoy teaching adults, so we’ll see how that goes with kids…
There were some setbacks right before the day I was teaching, it came up I had to take a test that day so I could work that night. So I ended up missing out on teaching 3 classes out of 6. Not the best scenario, but I still made it later in the day.
It was during lunch I showed up and quickly set up my room. I taped out a runway on the floor and got colored construction paper ready for the kids to make paper airplanes. I drew an airplane on the board. I found out I’m terrible at drawing airplanes! I went down a grabbed a quick lunch and talked to some other teachers and presenters. They said after the first class it was much easier, so that didn’t help my nerves for this first class!
I ran back upstairs and just beat the kids into the classroom. While waiting for the bell to ring they were seeing who could jump over the runway. I knew this would be a rambunctious group. Overall the first class went well! I taught about the 4 forces that act on an airplane in flight (lift, weight, thrust, drag) and also about the pattern to land an airplane. They made paper airplane – which surprisingly not every kid knew how! I thought that was Kid 101! I had them all land their airplanes saying the leg of the pattern they were on. After that I saved time to talk about flight training and any questions they might have. The first class was bursting full of questions! Even the teacher had a bunch of questions. I was glad for this because the first part of the presentation went by quicker than I thought so I needed to kill more time, but we had questions up until the bell.
The second class went pretty well too! One little kid was telling me all different ways you could make a paper airplane into a cargo airplane and different areas to store cargo. I think he’ll make a great little engineer!
Third class came the struggle, the kids had NO questions. I had to fumble for more information to share with the kids. I covered airspace, probably not the best subject for them to grasp quickly, but I could draw on the board! Of course, in the last 5 minutes is when the questions finally came.
I’m so glad I was offered this opportunity to volunteer and hopefully get some kids into aviation. I hope more come along since I really enjoyed it. It also just solidified as with every dispatch class I teach I can’t wait to be a CFI and teach more!
Does your Women in Aviation chapter or 99’s chapter offer volunteer opportunities like this? What are some of yours?