Kids’ interest in learning gets a lift at air show, STEM in the Park

Making paper helicopters in the iLEAD booth at Wood County Air Show.

By DAVID DUPONT

BG Independent News

Saturday was a day for kids’ dreams to take flight.

For the first time the STEM in the Park and the Wood County Air Show teamed up in their offerings, giving families a double dose of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and yes, some arts and sports, activities. The result as Saturday’s Take Flight with STEM.

Yolanda Robles-Wicks said in past years she’s attended the air show at the Wood County Regional Airport with her children. They see airplanes in the air, and the show gives them a chance to get inside the cockpit and see them close up. “It expands their horizons and shows there’s endless possibilities of what can be created,” she said.

Jaycob Eisenhauer, 3, of Fremont was at STEM in the Park with his parents Kara and Lucas Eisenhauer and his three siblings.

This year her children were again on hand, but Robles-Wicks was working.

She’s  staff member at the project-based earning school iLEAD in the Holland. This is the public tuition-free charter school’s third year in Ohio, and first year at the air show..

The air fair fits right into what the academy teaches, said Monique Myers, the outreach coordinator. Students learn by doing.

The academy was offering a hands-on activity at the air show. Kids got to build construction paper helicopters that had working LED lights in them.

Robles-Wicks, a 2009 graduate of BGSU, said the project was selected because it was a change from the usual paper airplane.

Vintage airplanes on display at air show.

Over at the Perry Field House, activity spilled out on the lawn. More than 110 different stations were offered.

Kara and Lucas Eisenhauer traveled to STEM in the Park from Fremont with their four children, ages 3 to 10. They’d spent almost three hours there and as the event was wrapping up regretted not getting there earlier.

They were happy to learn that the air show was still going to be open for a while.

Kara Eisenhauer said she was impressed by all the activities that were offered. Every station had something for children of different ages. “Each station seemed to engage everyone,” she said.

“This is the most important way to teach kids. Give them a fun, hands-on activity.”

She feels so strongly about this kind of learning that she quit her job as a teacher to stay at home to use these methods to teach her own children.

Though college choices are still in the future for her family, Kara Eisenhauer said certainly BGSU would be considered “if this is what they’re teaching.”

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