Most students have to dissect a frog or read about amoeba but SCVi Charter School eighth-grade students are getting the opportunity to to fly an airplane.
Along with a curriculum about aviation, officials SCVi and Southern California Soaring Academy gave seventh and eighth-graders the opportunity to get up close to a personal with a glider Monday morning.
“My number one goal for this was for kids to get excited for education and get excited for aviation,” said SCVi Science Teacher Dustin Lengning, also known as Mr. L., “and luckily for us, we had a company like SCSA that made that happen for us.”
On Feb. 21, eighth-grade science students will be able to fly a glider at the Crystalaire Airport in Llano, he said. Students will be flying with an instructor.
SCSA officials gave Lengning the opportunity to test out the gliders that his students will fly in.
“It was always in our idea box was to develop this program, our education outreach program. We offer professional development for teachers,” said Julie Bennett, who is a manager along with her husband, Chris Bennett for the SCSA. “Mr L. is a science teacher, so we took him up with that understanding. We crafted the particular flight that he took based on what he teaches.”
The SCSA is a nonprofit organization that provides pilot training and aircraft rental, according to the website. SCSA official also provides a Veterans Soaring Program to provide rehabilitation and “empowering experiences” for veterans and wounded-service members.
Students were able to also hear from a flight instructor and a an ambassador who works with NASA.
“Here’s the best thing about teaching, the relationships you build and the possibility of influencing someone else,” said Kathleen Fredette, a NASA airborne astronomy ambassador with the aircraft SOFIA and an Antelope Valley STEM teacher who is also a part of the Endeavor Master’s Degree Program. “You bring your own things that you dig and the passions that you have and maybe that sparks something in someone else. So you have a lot better chance in igniting something in a student — that sense of wonder, that sense of curiosity by doing something that has meaning to them.”