Nationwide, September 23, 2009— AirVenture 2009 was a pivotal success in the growth of Build A Plane. The non-profit aviation education organization sponsored its first Teacher’s Day where the organization’s new online educators’ resource, LOOK UP, was introduced. During the week, well-known actor and aviator, Harrison Ford, also made a surprise visit to the Build A Plane/GAMA exhibit on the AirVenture show grounds.
Teachers’ Day, held in cooperation with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association, exposed 200 educators from around the country to a variety of programs and curricula designed for elementary, middle school and high school students. Presentations were made by the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, NASA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, EAA Young Eagles and Scholarship Programs, Aircraft Electronics Association, Aviation Explorers and the Federal Aviation Administration. EAA President, Tom Poberezny and GAMA’s Pete Bunce also welcomed the group to AirVenture and the event.
Airshow performer, Sean D. Tucker, was the kick-off speaker for Teachers’ Day and providing attendees with an overview of what aviation can mean to their program. Sean’s son, Eric, also talked about his aviation education both in the cockpit and in the classroom.
During the event, Build A Plane also announced their new educator program called LOOK UP. The effort, spearheaded by Dr. Tim Smith from Frankfort High School in Kentucky, will provide a modified social network for educators and additional teaching resources. LOOK UP is now available on the Build A Plane website at www.buildaplane.org.
Remarking on the success of the event, GAMA’s Pete Bunce said, “There are some truly remarkable programs out there for absolutely all grade levels. Not only can teachers use aviation to motivate kids to learn science, math, technology and engineering, but this provides the impetus to help teachers help their students to start a lifelong love affair with aviation!”
On Thursday of AirVenture, the students were surprised with an unscheduled stop by actor and aviation enthusiast Harrison Ford. Mr. Ford spent a great deal of time with the kids discussing their project and various interests in aviation. Throughout the week Build A Plane and GAMA also hosted Dr. Smith and five of his students. The group brought their Aeronca construction project for display in the GAMA/Build A Plane exhibition the airshow grounds.. The project was given to the students during AirVenture 2008 and is a “work-in-progress.”
“We are amazed by how many great opportunities exist to engage and motivate kids to learn through aviation,” said Lyn Freeman, Build A Plane’s founder. “Today’s students respond to real world applications and challenges, and aviation really captures their attention. Of course, it also helps when a few movie stars stop by too.”
For more information, contact Build A Plane Executive Director, Katrina Bradshaw at 804-843-3321 or visit www.buildaplane.org.