Kids at KANE
EAA Chapter 237 at Anoka County Blaine Airport continues community outreach
May 1, 2017
Anoka County Blaine Airport continues to grow its reputation as a community friendly facility. EAA Chapter 237, Twin Cities Aviation, R.C. Avionics, the American Wings Museum, and Golden Wings Museum once again opened their doors for an educational tour and hands-on adventures for over 40 youth ranging in age from infant to ninth grade, and 20 adults. The tour was arranged by EAA Chapter members Roger Hansen and Harvey Karth.
While the younger members of the group visited aviation related businesses on the field, EAA Chapter member Michael J. Grzincich entertained and educated the older students using his 1964 Cessna 172F as a prop.
Peggy Fast, field trip coordinator for the Fellowship in Christian Home Education contacted Hansen last year to make arrangements for this year's tour.
"As homeschool parents we like to give our kids a wide variety of experiences," said Fast. "Let's be honest, airplanes are something kids just love. They are very intrigued by planes, so coming to the airport is very exciting for the kids."
Visitors ranged in age from infant to elder. Fast said a benefit of homeschool field trips is socializing with people in a variety of age groups.
"In a situation like this, you can actually have parents who are offering input and providing guidance," said Fast. "In a situation where it's all kids the same age, the kids themselves are providing input among themselves."
After tours of the businesses and photo ops in the cockpit of Grzincich's aircraft, the whole crowd explored the displays in the EAA Chapter building. The field trip coordinator said experiences like this make an impact on a young person's life.
"You never know who is going to have that interest in aviation, who is going to be interested in flying," said Fast. "Sometimes experiences like this can spark that interest in a child. That is something we, as parents, can follow through."
It was a whirlwind tour in a specified time frame.
"We were limited to two hours," said Roger Hansen, "We had to cover much of the airport and introduce these students to the real world of aviation through the businesses there. We worked in 15 minute increments.
"We had limited time so we were unable to get to the observation deck of the tower but we did use the pavilion that has speaker systems where we were able to hear activities from the tower. That was a great experience for students as well.
"We were able to cover several important features of the airport in a very short time that kept the interest of these young students. From that standpoint, it was a really successful day."