By Robyn Stoller, EAA 1066553
Great weather, eight enthusiastic kids, and multiple chapter volunteers came together Saturday, September 18, for EAA Chapter 54’s first Young Eagles Workshop. The Chapter 54 clubhouse, with its fantastic new large-screen TV, served perfectly as the educational venue for a one-day workshop at the Lake Elmo, Minnesota, airport.
Young Eagles Workshops help meet a need which parents of Young Eagles flight recipients have shared with us — to provide an inspiring next step for kids wanting to gain more in-depth aviation knowledge after a Young Eagles flight. However, we see Young Eagles Workshops serving well as a great educational activity either before OR after a Young Eagles flight.
We used learning content created by EAA. PowerPoint slides and worksheets were excellent for the 11-to-14-year-olds at our workshop. Topics we covered: parts of an airplane, compass headings and flight instruments, aerodynamics, aviation communications, and reading aeronautical charts. The kids loved the challenge of working on a sectional chart scavenger hunt. One of our chapter volunteers, Susan Schmidt, a Delta Air Lines pilot, brought in her uniforms and shared her journey on becoming a commercial pilot. Participants got to see several airplanes up close, both tailwheel and tricycle-gear examples, thanks to chapter members who offered their aircraft for viewing at the workshop. Some kids got a chance to sit in the cockpit. What a great learning experience!
A special aspect of our Young Eagles Workshop was a partnering effort with Youth Advantage, a local non-profit supporting youth who qualify for free or reduced school lunch programs. Youth Advantage offers assistance to qualifying youth who wish to participate in academic, athletic, or artistic activities. Fifty percent of our workshop participants were registered through Youth Advantage. We were pleased to partner with this worthy organization and will partner with them on future workshops.
A HUGE thank you to Gregg Adler, Bill Bjorum, Leif Erickson, Vicky Moore, and Susan Schmidt for their tremendous help in planning and delivering the workshop. The kids had a great time and learned A LOT about aviation. Bill Bjorum states so well our mission in offering workshops: “We hope the youth are inspired and confident that they too can join us all in the skies, and some or even all of them become pilots. Here’s to new doors being opened, imaginations being empowered, and dreams of flying becoming reality!”