Minnesota Flyer - Serving Midwest Aviation Since 1960

Winged classroom creates fertile learning space


C.M. Swanson

University Avenue Elementary School Aerospace second graders take a snack break under the wing of a Ford Tri-motor at the Golden Wings Air Museum based at Anoka County Blaine Airport. The visit launches their work for the year which will result in a book on flight written by the children.

As any successful author knows, it's all about experience and research. University Avenue Elementary School Aerospace Education Coordinator, Kate Watson has a firm grasp on this concept as well. That's how her second graders end up at Golden Wings Flying Museum in at Anoka County Blaine Airport.

"This is their launch to the work they will be doing all year in creating a Flight Book," said Watson. "In May we make it a big family event where they invite their families to the airport to celebrate their book and to get private tours of this collection.

C.M. Swanson

English Learner Teacher Ann Roehl pours over navigational maps with students Lilly (L) and Natalie (R).

"This is really to get that initial excitement for flight and aircraft and start building background knowledge as they do their research throughout the year.

The school's field trips are coordinated through the Blaine Airport Promotions Group (BAPG) and Golden Wings Flying Museum. Learning stations focused on science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) as applied to aviation are set up around the museum and tended by BAPG volunteers, University Avenue Elementary Aerospace teachers, parents, and representatives of the EAA Chapter 237 Young Eagles program.

"This is hands on experience for our students," said University Avenue English Learner teacher Ann Roehl. "The more students can interact with real life representations of what they are studying, the more they learn."


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