I am currently teaching Math and Engineering at an inner city school which is considered very high need. We are trying to attract students into the engineering program- which is very rigorous, but attainable. We are looking for that hook to get student interest up.
AVIATION ATTRACTS KIDS' ATTENTION. The engineering program is young at our school, but is growing with the hopes of a capstone course in Aerospace Engineering. We have been discussing aircraft design and aerodynamics and some of the students have even participated in a Young Eagles flight. But how great would it be for the kids to have an experience to not only learn the basic concepts of acting as pilot in command but learning history as well. We have received approval from the school district to install flight simulator programs on computers and we have received complimentary copies of the software. The program is based on actual aerial conflicts of WWII. So the students will learn about flying and history at the same time. But I can tell you from almost 20 years experience in the cockpit, you do not fly with a keyboard.
I am trying to give the students the feel of flying a P-51 mustang and I believe that a computer joystick will make this a reality. I have done this on a small scale- bringing in my own joystick and simulator. The kids loved it- they didn't want to leave the school (and where I teach, this could be a good thing). If we could get some of the joysticks requested, we could actually not just learn to fly, but fly in formation and in combat.
As I mentioned before, I have been flying for almost 20 years. However, I am only 35. I started in high school when someone gave me this awesome opportunity. Now, my program doesn't actually get the kids a pilot license, but it does spark interest. And interest promotes knowledge. Finally, there have been long stretches that I have had to take time off from flying. I can tell you that the flight simulators today are extremely accurate and realistic. Before I do get back in the cockpit, I will practice on the simulator-and it helps. I hope that you can help me, help these students to be involved in something extra at our school. Thank you
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