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Mon, Aug 02, 2010

Kids Invited To AirVenture For Hands-On Learning

A Walk Through KidVenture At EAA's Pioneer Museum

By Maxine Scheer

My time at AirVenture this year is almost over, and I can't wait to come back. I am thinking about how I would enjoy this event from my children's perspective and decided to head over to a jewel of a program for kids, nestled away from the main AirVenture site at EAA's Pioneer Airport. It is called KidVenture. It takes just a few minutes to get to the EAA AirVenture Museum and walk the short path to EAA's Pioneer Airport. EAA runs buses almost continually from an area near the main entrance of AirVenture to and from the museum.

Pioneer Airport encompasses a grass field and aircraft hangars, styled from a period in the 1930's, and EAA uses the Pioneer facility to showcase KidVenture. Dozens and dozens of tables, staffed with many volunteers and corporate sponsors, provide hands on learning opportunities for children to discover the many facets of aviation.

Walking through KidVenture and taking pictures drew little attention from the kids and the participants. Children and parents alike were focused on what they were doing, learning about science, technology engineering and math (STEM) through a rich, interactive program that is truly just "plane fun" for everyone.

I am greeted by the control-line flying where a little boy is being given a lesson by one the EAA volunteers. Children walking around KidVenture are coveting their handmade and personalized souvenirs; simple, easy and fun crafts that engage the children for hours.

There are the pedal airplanes, kite making, propeller making, learning about aircraft engines, brakes, and wing construction. Volunteers from the Whitman Field Air Traffic Control tower and an FAA instructor from Salt Lake City, teach students about air traffic control. EAA volunteers take students on a "flight check challenge" to earn their log book. These and many more activities at KidVenture are included in the admission to EAA AirVenture.

For an extra fee, visitors who make their way over to the Pioneer Museum area can catch a helicopter ride or a ride on the Goodyear Blimp. I think my children would like KidVenture; it looks like a lot of fun!

FMI; www.airventure.org/attractions/pioneer.html, www.airventure.org/attractions/kidventure.html

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