Third Step: Amelia Earhart ~Conclusion~

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So this month has been crazy hectic! Turns out we’re moving. In a month. Needless to say the blog has taken a back seat and so has Amelia Earhart. We’ve still been doing activities and reading, but it hasn’t been as well thought out it as it as been before. Which is unfortunate, but that’s life sometimes, right?! So, our move involved a trip to our new, soon to be home in the Pacific Northwest, which meant a trip to the airport!

The airport was so fun for the kids! We’ve been before, but it’s been two years so the excitement and anticipation was new all over again for the older two. We spent a little time at the Battle of Midway Memorial exhibit at Midway International Airport.Part of the exhibit includes a plane recovered from Lake Michigan in 1991, the SBD Dauntless Dive-Bomber. It hangs from the ceiling as part of the exhibit and is the same type of plane flown in the Battle of Midway in WWII. The exhibition also includes interactive kiosks with videos, pictures and sculpture commemorating the battle. The kids had a good time exploring it while we waited at the airport. Unfortunately, my camera was packed and I only have some terrible iPhone pics of us at the airport. The timing of this trip was perfect and so fitting while we learn about Amelia Earhart and aviation! (Excuse the iPhone pics from the airport, I accidentally checked my camera! ūüôā

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Once we got back we did a little experimenting with some different planes in our backyard. It wasn’t very scientific at all, but it was fun! We had a very large styrofoam plane, an inflatable vinyl plane and foam plane that launched from a gun-type device and we flew them all off our deck in the backyard to see which went the furthest. The kid were a little surprised that the largest plane went the furthest. I could go into more detail about why some planes worked and some didn’t, but this was just about fun. ūüôā

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We also read some great books about Amelia Earhart this month. My daughter’s favorite by far was ‘I AmAmelia Earhart,’ by Brad Meltzer. She brought to school when it when it was her turn to bring in a book for read aloud and carried it with her for a couple of weeks. It’s a really fun and cute book for young kids the puts an emphasis on following dreams and working hard to achieve them. Admittedly, it’s a favorite of mine as well. We also read ‘Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic,’ by Robert Burleigh, which was great for describing what is like to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we used ‘Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator,’ by Shelley Tanaka as reference for Amelia’s life and achievements.

We still have a couple more weeks until the move, hopefully I can get back on track soon! It will be quite interesting to take an adventure of our own!

Third Step: Amelia Earhart ~Exploring~

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The kids had such a fabulous time visiting the aviation museum and that was due in part to some of the people we met there. One of the museum volunteers informed us that one of the women who is a board of directors for the museum holds many world records in aviation herself! While taking pictures outside we met Dan who invited us to take a closer look at some planes that he owns. The kids loved climbing up into the planes, playing with some of the controls and just exploring the ins and outs of the planes. My husband and I enjoyed talking with Dan and learning about his journey to aviation and learning to fly. ¬†He actually learned with his mother, another inspiring lady! It was great to hear all these men tell us about great and inspiring women in aviation! ¬†After touring Dan’s hangar he took us over to Midwest Aeronautique LLC to meet Bob and Jim who are in the long process of restoring an aircraft from the 1940’s built by the Fairchild Aircraft Company.

This particular plane was built in the US as part of an US Army Air Force contract then shipped to Great Britain where it flew for the Air Transport Auxilary until the end of the war. After that it was sold to dentist in the Netherlands in the 60’s who flew it there. It went through tree owners before ending up with Jim and Bob and Aeronautique in 2001. They have been restoring this piece of history in their care since that time!! They showed us a picture of what the plane looked like when they bought it and it was literally a pile of metal and wood when they got it. What they have done since then is painstakingly restore every aspect of it by hand, and it’s truly impressive what they’ve done! They definitely have a passion for this project and it shows. They kids were enamored of the work they were doing and were thrilled to sit inside this piece of history! I, was personally stunned at how little holds these aircrafts together! It’s literally string, canvas, and tape! ¬†There’s some wood and metal in there too, but OMG, I don’t know how men and women flew these planes across oceans, in wars, and all other situations! Truly remarkable, and I know that I could never do it!

Third Step: Amelia Earhart

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Another month and another fabulous lady to learn about! Amelia Earhart is the focus of this month’s studies. Like Nellie Bly, she is also an adventuring¬†woman and we are in the adventuring spirit! ¬†We had a fabulous visit to one of our local aviation museums, Illinois Aviation Museum, to kick things off! We had a phenomenal time looking at all the different planes, helicopters, and memorabilia at the museum. Some of the museum is inside a hangar where you can see planes, a helicopter and also get a behind the scenes look at some of the museum’s restoration efforts and speak to volunteers manning the museum. Outside we got an up close and personal look at more planes and jets, along with witnessing the occasional take off of aircraft from the airport that houses the museum. While we were outside we met a local pilot who invited us to his hangar and let the kids sit inside the cockpit of one of his planes. He also took us to meet Jim and Bob of Midwest Aeronautique LLC who showed us their current restoration project and an inside look at how some of these planes are made. We capped off our afternoon, dubbed by my son as, ‘the best day ever,’ at Charlie’s the airport diner. While there we got a front row seat to the runway and some fab diner food(they received the 5 Prop award for best airport food in the state)! ¬†More about our afternoon at IAM to come, but for now here are some favorite photos!