Baskin Elementary 3rd graders tour aircraft, engine shop
Forty third-grade students with Mildred Baskin Elementary School visited the 433rd Airlift Wing Oct. 19, 2018. During the tour, students received an overview of the C-5M Super Galaxy and then visited the C-5 engine shop.
The mission briefer, Maj. Brian L. Biggerstaff, 68th Airlift Squadron pilot, started the day explaining the concepts of flight to the students and teachers. He taught the children about lift, weight, thrust and drag on an aircraft.
After the lesson on flight, the children went to a static C-5M for an in-person tour. The students saw the flight deck, and cargo and troop compartments. While on the flight deck, Biggerstaff explained aircraft controls and quizzed the children as they took turns sitting in the pilot’s seat.
“It was a fun opportunity for us to support education and the smile on their faces was the highlight of my day,” said Biggerstaff.
Tech. Sgt. Kevin D. Meredith, 68th Airlift Squadron flight engineer, took the children through the cargo and troop compartments. While there, Meredith discussed how the aircraft used to move cargo and passengers. 68th AS loadmaster Staff Sgts. Victor Rios and Michael Indo assisted with the briefing and aircraft tour.
The tour seemed to spark a lot of curiosity in the children.
“The level of excitement and the inquisitive nature of the students was refreshing to see,” said Meredith. “They truly wanted to know about the plane, how things worked and why or how it can fly.”
“That’s what we want as educators is for our kids to ask questions,” said Amalia Cortez, a third-grade teacher, and third-grade academic chair. “That’s how we learn, even as adults.”
Many of these students are interested in science, technology, engineering and math programs. The teachers will be able to recall this experience to reinforce lessons taught in the classroom.
“We need more scientists and mathematicians; more kids going into these areas,” Cortez said. “Hopefully, this has inspired them to do that. As educators, we always want those real-world experiences for our kids. We try to make those connections in our lessons. This is something we are going to be focusing on in our upcoming force in motion unit.”
Marian Carty, another third-grade teacher with Baskin, talked about the unique opportunity the tour presented for the children and adults to learn about the Air Force mission.
“The children got to look at things, touch things, and see things they would never have the opportunity to in an inner-city school,” Carty said. “They got to see the instruments and engineering portion of it; all of the different scientific things involved in it. How they would load the cargo, how large it is. How much money it costs.”
Finally the students went to the engine shop where Master Sgt. Sean C. Preston, 433rd Maintenance Squadron propulsion craftsman, described the C-5M engine’s features and capabilities.