image1For the seventh time, Saint Viator students in the Querbes Scholars Program traveled to Oshkosh, WI, for its world-renown air show, run each year by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

It turned out to be a win-win. Not only did they experience the thrill of seeing so many aircraft in one place, not to mention meeting pilots and engineers, but they accrued service hours toward Saint Viator’s STEM designation since they were immersed in aircraft engineering.

IMG_0380The trip also offers hands-on service opportunities. Students worked with youngsters in the KidVenture area, which is set up in three hangars and offers hands-on activities and learning opportunities, but it turned out that the Saint Viator students learned as much as their pupils.

Mrs. Cate Majka, who teaches physics and moderates one of the Querbes’ homerooms, led the scholars to the annual fly-in convention, which this year drew a record crowd, or more than 600,000 people last week and 10,000 airplanes.

IMG_0370Dan Majka, a former Saint Viator teacher, provided the scholars with their credentials. He serves on the EAA board of directors and he chairs the KidVenture booths.

Their day started out in the morning, when Saint Viator students rolled up their sleeves and taught youngsters how to rivet—construct the standard aviation fastener using state-of-the-art rivet guns—shape props, and check electrical circuits.

“It was so much fun to work with children and learn more about airplanes,” said Katie McManaman ’20. “I was able to learn how carbon fiber is made and other STEM-related topics.”

IMG_0390Madi Walker ’19 agreed: “At KidVenture, I learned about airplane safety and then had the opportunity to share that knowledge and assist children in exploring aeronautical mechanics.”

They capped their day off by watching the air show itself, which showcased F-16 flights and the Blue Angels, as well as historical aircraft, warbirds and acrobatic displays.

IMG_0382“There were so many interesting people and planes, including the helicopters and drones, I would never have experienced without the opportunity to visit AirVenture and KidVenture today,” Brooke Puccini ’19.

Mrs. Majka has organized the trip every year and this time she was accompanied by staff member, Mrs. Donna Benedict.

“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.”