For the sixth straight year, Saint Viator Querbes Scholars enjoyed a trip to the air show in Oshkosh, Wisc., run by the Experimental Aircraft Association. The unique trip provided them an opportunity for hands-on service and to get a bird’s eye view of some of its most historic planes.
Mrs. Cate Majka and Mrs. Jan Grana, both Saint Viator physics teachers, accompanied ten Querbes Scholars—nine sophomores and one junior—to the annual fly-in convention, which draws an average of 500,000 people each July and 10,000 airplanes.
In staying with tradition, the Saint Viator students spent the morning volunteering at the KidVenture area, which is set up in three hangars and offers hands-on activities and learning opportunities to young, aspiring pilots.
Since the students were immersed in aircraft engineering—and teaching it to youngsters—they had the chance to accrue service hours toward Saint Viator’s new STEM designation, which debuts this year.
“When I got to Oshkosh, I thought my volunteering would be to teach kids about airplanes,” said sophomore Patti Miller, “but I ended up learning so much myself and had a ton of fun doing it.”
Her classmate, Marcus Lannie agreed, describing the day as a “stellar experience, jammed with knowledgeable people involved in all aspects of aviation.”
“This experience has enriched my understanding of aerospace engineering,” Marcus said, “and its technologies and has deepened my love for flying.”
Students spent the afternoon touring some of the air show’s exhibits, including seeing the War Birds, vintage planes, home builts and light sport planes, along with touring the buildings and various workshops.
They capped their day by watching the air show itself, which showcased F-16 flights and the Canadian Snow Birds, which is the Royal Canadian Air Force’s demonstration squadron.
Mrs. Majka’s husband, Dan, provided the scholars with their credentials. Dan serves on the EAA board of directors and he chairs the KidVenture booths.
“It was a long but fun, educational and rewarding day,” Mrs. Majka said. “I really enjoyed watching my students learn how to rivet so they could teach younger kids. It was great to see how excited they were about their volunteering experience and how much fun they had learning about aviation.”