Thursday, March 6, 2008

Future Pilots?

The fifth graders at the Academy have just finished up an aeronautical segment in science, and I was able to accompany Rachael on her field trip today. It was pretty awesome. I've got to say we never had anything like this when I was in 5th grade. Way to make me feel old!

We started out with a little memory refresher course and some practice on these little mechanisms:

(I put Rachael next to that girl on purpose so her hair wouldn't seem so scraggly. Just kidding! This poor girl has some kind of genetic abnormality where her hair just falls out in clumps. Poor thing. Stop staring!)

They let me take a turn too!

Then we each split into groups. They had us work on these computer flight simulators.

Hey, it's more complicated then it looks. I crashed and burned twice. The 5th graders did much better!

# of successful landings- Rachael: 2 Mom:0

Then off to the real flight simulators! These things were pretty awesome. It felt like a real airplane! It was awesome to see the kids' faces. Wendell's brother Dean is a pilot, and years ago when he was flying small airplanes(sorry Dean, I don't remember the name) in Douglas AZ he let me sit next to him and take the controls. It was so cool. This seemed pretty similar. The kids had a blast.

No. I didn't get to try this one. I did (just barely) make the height and weight requirement, but I didn't ask to try it.Then we were off to the helicopter simulator:

This little old man spoke in a monotone and had a hard time with the kids. He totally yelled at them for doing something I told them they could do while waiting for their turn. (Sorry kids) Old codger.
I felt sorry for him a little. It was hard on him when the kids couldn't quite understand what he was saying. The simulator was pretty great.

The kids also go to do a "runway of experiments" where they got to test out different flight theories. It was pretty eye opening for me.

After we were done there we met together again as a class and talked about how to talk to the control tower. A lot of those call signs are familiar from movies like Top Gun (c'mon, you know you loved it;) and others. We are all pretty familiar with alpha(a) charlie(c) bravo(b)tango(t), and such. But did you know that r is romeo and j is Juliette? Someone was a Shakespeare fan. And s is Sierra. Who knew? Some of them seem pretty arbitrary.

All together it was a pretty great day. I personally learned a lot of great things. Like the fact that 5th graders aren't really rude or spiteful. They are actually pretty sweet and complimentary. I didn't even see any evidence of vengeful cliques. It may be that it is because we are dealing with a school full of....well, basically nerds. Or it may be that I spent 5th grade in Paradise Valley before we moved to Mesa, and my memories are particularly bad;)

It was like a little crash course in flight school. I am officially enlightened. And it is always great to spend some one on one time with one of my older kids. The little ones take up so much time and energy, I find I have to come up with ways to connect with the older ones. Mission accomplished!

2 people know I love comments!:

Crazymamaof6 said...

wow fun! so how do you like the academy? i considered it for my nerdier son. he could go next year maybe. but am not sure.
ok and the hair loss is called Alopecia.
and fun you went and tried the stuff too.

Holly Janeen said...

i found you... what a darling family you have :)
and such a cute blog...
see ya at church!