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Center for Educational Technologies projects have ended (except Challenger Learning Center) and are no longer funded.

Free Airplane Rides and 'Trip' to Space on Tap for Youth

Thu Jun 12 2008

Besides free airplane rides, youth participating in Saturday's EAA Young Eagles and The Adventures of Flying program at the Morgantown, WV, airport will also have a chance to head to Space Station Alpha, courtesy of the Challenger Learning Center®.

Saturday's event, which will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Morgantown Municipal Airport, is sponsored by the Morgantown Pilots Association. It will offer young people ages 8 to 17 an opportunity to take a free ride in a private plane and to work through nine learning stations designed to teach the fundamentals of flying, demonstrate flight operations, and showcase career opportunities. Boy Scouts can earn the Aviation Merit Badge.

Kathleen Frank, assistant director, e-Missions™ program, for the Challenger Learning Center, will be in Morgantown to conduct three missions.

e-Missions use distance learning to provide students and adults with problem-based simulations that emphasize teamwork, problem-solving, decision-making, and communication skills. In Space Station Alpha students use their math and science skills to help the crew of the International Space Station survive the effects of a huge solar flare.

The Challenger Learning Center conducts more than 800 e-Missions a year. Frank said e-Missions are open to anyone with videoconferencing ability and computers. The missions provide a unique window to the world as they enhance teamwork and critical thinking for all ages and diverse groups.

For more information about Saturday's program e-mail

The EAA Young Eagles program was launched in 1992 to give interested young people, ages 8 to 17, an opportunity to go flying in a general aviation airplane. These flights are offered free of charge and are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers. Since 1992 more than 1.3 million Young Eagles have enjoyed a flight through the program. Young Eagles have been registered in more than 90 different countries and have been flown by more than 41,000 volunteer pilots.

"Young Eagles gives kids a view of the world they've never seen before," said Harrison Ford, chairman of the EAA Young Eagles program. "Each Young Eagle flight is an opportunity to excite kids by sharing a passion for flight and to show them that they too can learn the skills to participate in aviation."

From its start in 1985, the Morgantown Pilots Association has fought to keep general aviation fun, safe and available to everyone. Now, with more than 40 members, MPA members focus on education and discussion of essential airport information and aviation in general.