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Hands-on Family Fun, Airplane Rides Oct. 5 at Wings 'n Things

On SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland


Last updated 10/2/2019 at 5:02pm

A family tradition at the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus, WINGS 'n THINGS has been reimagined. With exciting hands-on activities that introduce tomorrow's technologies, children of all ages will be given a free introduction to the wonders of Aerospace from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 at the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus, 4175 Medulla Road in Lakeland.

Offered through the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), this year's event is being co-hosted with the Women in Aviation Lakeland Chapter in celebration of Girls in Aviation Day, a Women in Aviation International Event. Numerous hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities are planned such as stomp rocket launches, weather studies, solar observations, drone demonstrations, and a tour of a REAL a Boeing 727. Adding to these super fun experiences, kids can climb aboard a real Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) Truck, courtesy of the Lakeland Fire Department, help build a real aircraft with the Lakeland Aero Club, and take advantage of mentorship mini-sessions with notable women in Aerospace Careers.

For participants between the ages of 8-17, WINGS 'n THINGS has a special offer. Young aspiring pilots are invited to sit in the copilot's seat and take off for a flight in a real airplane. Children may have flown in a commercial aircraft, but that doesn't come close to the exhilaration of flight they can experience from the front seat. EAA Chapter 454 is hosting these Young Eagle Flights at no cost, giving children the experience of a lifetime. Kids will get real flight time and even their very own logbook.Flights are limited to the first 60 eligible registrants the day of the event and offered on a first come, first served basis, so arrive early to reserve a slot.

ACE's own Florida Air Museum, the Official Aviation Museum for the State of Florida, will be welcoming visitors to participate in a scavenger hunt for fun prizes. Many of the activities throughout the event will have take-home souvenir projects like balsa gliders and more. The Museum is also located on the SUN 'n FUN Expo Campus, and admission is free during WINGS 'n THINGS.

In late September ACE hosted Classroom to the Sky, during which 60 teachers from across the state participated in a day-long seminar and learned ways to infuse STEM into their class curriculum. NOAA representatives were on-hand for the welcome keynote, discussing their role in determining weather patterns, and award-winning educators led grade-specific breakout sessions.

Teachers had their own hands-on learning lesson given by ACE students, who taught them to rivet their own aluminum binders with the same techniques used to build aircraft. Teachers agreed the highlight of the day was taking an actual flight themselves, and they were thrilled when many of their pilots were high school or college students who earned their pilot license through ACE's scholarship program. Teachers earned In-service points for taking part in the day's session.


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