COPA for Kids Flights
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Shoal Lake Regional Airport

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Engaging Students in Aviation

In cooperation with schools in our area we are engaging students in aviation in the months leading up to Airshow 2017.  This has always been in the mandate of the Shoal Lake Flying Club which was the first non-EAA group to be authorized to give Young Eagle Flights way back in the 1990's.  Later, as COPA Flight 162, we organized many COPA for Kids events including several in Neepawa; all told close to 1000 young people have experienced flight as a result!

Here's how Engaging Students works in those schools which participate.  Early in April the schools received materials.  Here's what's expected:
---- Classes must use an aviation related topic in at least one class.  Hopefully that will lead to incorporating aviation into other classes!
---- Grade 6 classes must complete the Flight unit in Science.   We hope they will go a step or two further!

When the program ends in mid May a letter and free Airshow 2017 Admission Wristband will go home with each student who has participated.  We're hoping they don't put the wristbands on right away, they'll be pretty ragged by July 11 and 12!

Schools participating are:

  • Miniota School - K to Grade 8
  • Decker Colony School - K to 6
  • Major Pratt School - Grade 6
  • Birtle Collegiate - Grade 6
  • Birtle Elementary - K to Grade 4
  • Inglis School - K to Grade 8
  • Binscarth School - Grade 3 & 4
  • Hamiota Collegiate - Grade 6

Here are some lesson plan ideas that have been suggested.  Anyone can use them and anyone can contribute to the list.  Email ideas to this address!

  • Write a short story about flight.
  • Aviator animals -some are gliders, some are flyers.  Make a list of each type.  How do they fly?  What advantage does flying give them?  What disadvantages?
  • The poetry of flight!  You can find aviation poems by clicking heretry this one, another one and the last one!
  • Model rocketry is a highly motivating activity that links with many learning outcomes! Air rockets can be used instead of building and firing chemical rocket engines.  You can order classroom packages or individual rockets by clicking here.
  • What would I see if I was flying over my town, my home, ...? This could be a writing activity, art activity, speaking activity, ....
  • Research Canadian aviation achievements - we are leaders in many areas!
  • Forces and flight - how does an airplane fly?  There are many web pages which can help you develop a lesson for most age groups.  Here's one with a great video for older students.
  • Investigate careers in aviation - aviation employs more than just pilots!
  • On Saturday, June 3 there is a huge Women in Aviation event at St. Andrews Airport just north of Winnipeg with information about jobs and careers in aviation, all kinds of displays, and plans to give 1000 women and girls a ride in an airplane!  Share this information with your students, encourage them to attend, plan a field trip, ...!
  • The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon - a great place to visit!
  • Who are the Snowbirds? Research the history of the team at their official website.
  • Pick one member of the Snowbird team and learn as much as you can about him or her. Plan to attend the Meet the Performers evening at Airshow 2017 and introduce yourself to that Snowbird. Ask any questions that came to your mind in your research.
  • Learn about your local airport - visit it. What is it used for? Why is it important to your community?
  • Build a paper airplane (make sure it glides well, at least 10 feet) then see how much cargo (bingo chips) you can place on it and still land beyond the 10 feet line.
  • Build parachutes out of a plastic bag, string and a small object for weight. Then have a contest to see which one falls slowest - present and analyze the data.
  • Build simple balsa wood model airplanes. Fly them in the gym. What does it take to make it fly well? Have contests!  Click here for a source of inexpensive glider kits.
  • Want to get involved in Airshow 2017? Get a group of about 6 Senior students together and register with the Airshow 2017 Volunteer Coordinators to help out during the week of July 10 to 14.
  • Air racing! There's car racing, motorcycle racing, snowmobile racing; there's also a long history of air racing. Learn about the Red Bull air races. You can meet Pete Mcleod at Airshow 2017!!
  • So what is Pete Mcleod's story?  Where was he born, where did he grow up, ...?  What will you ask him when you meet him at Airshow 2017?
  • How many of the students in the class have flown before? Where did they go? Why? What kind of airplane? This discussion could fit into many lessons - geography, language, ....
  • Interview a pilot - someone in your community, a family member, someone in your school, ... your choice!
  • Anyone can be a pilot!! When you ask someone to think about a pilot, what likely comes into their mind?  Confronting stereotypes - female pilots, pilots with handicaps, senior pilots (research S. J. (Steve) Wittman), ....
  • Read poems or books on aviation, then share with other students.
  • Stage an Aviation Scavenger Hunt.
  • Want to get involved in Airshow 2017?  Get a group of about 6 Senior students together and register with the Airshow 2017 Volunteer Coordinators to help out during the week of June 10 to June 14for a few hours.  Maybe your hours would count towards a Citizenship credit.
  • Have students build airplanes out of wooden clothespins and popsicle sticks.  They could paint them.  What are the critical parts of an airplane?
  • Elementary teachers can include aviation themed colouring pages with many activities or lessons.  Click here to download some pdf pages that might appeal to your students: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
  • The Snowbirds are Canada's air display (or demonstration) team.  Many other countries have teams like the Snowbirds.  Research three other teams and compare and contrast them to the Snowbirds.
  • Aviation has been instrumental in mapping our world.  Much of the reason for that is that maps are instrumental for flying.  A great lesson about maps can be made by using on-line aviation maps.  Here's one! (US maps are more detailed unfortunately.)  Here's another.  (only US charts on this one!)
  • Find out how aircraft have been important in bringing whooping cranes (and other migrating birds) back from near extinction.
  • Navigating an airplane directly from one place to another in moving air (wind) is still one of the best illustrations of why we use vectors in Senior Physics and Mathematics classes.  Here's a good lesson.
  • The first successful human flights were in balloons.  Research that history.  What were the balloons made of?  What fuel did they use?  What did people at the time think it was that made them fly?  What does make them fly?
  • There is a lot of research going on right now into lighter-than-air aircraft.  Why now?  Where would they be used?  What would they be useful for?

Copyright 25th Anniversary Shoal Lake Airshow 2017