17:05 PM

Wis. Unit Provides Aerospace Classes for 4-H Youth

What grade schooler doesn’t enjoy launching rockets, building airplanes and flying whirligigs?

Taking advantage of this natural desire to experiment and learn, members of the Wisconsin Wing's La Crosse Composite Squadron recently conducted a series of aerospace classes as part of the La Crosse County 4-H Clover College.

The event, held at Bangor Elementary School, invites 4-H students and the public to come and learn about a wide variety of topics. The teachers for each class come from the community and have some area of expertise to share with the students.

Members of the La Crosse Composite Squadron spent the day helping the 18 participating students conduct different STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) projects so the children could experiment with flight. The first project involved working with Dragonfly helicopters, which helped students understand how an airfoil works.

The students then moved on to constructing balsa gliders to learn about the forces of drag and lift. After that they explored the concept further by practicing landing model aircraft of varying weights attached to an inclined fishing line.

The session concluded with constructing fizzy pop rockets to better understand Newton’s Third Law of Motion -- for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Capt. Roxanne Munns, the squadron’s assistant aerospace education officer and also a 4-H leader, organized the activity and supervised it along with 2nd Lt. Scott Munns, aerospace education officer. Cadet Capt. Mattison Donaldson and Cadet Senior Airman Carter Mandel provided hands-on assistance to the students while also explaining aerospace concepts.

Majs. Todd Mandel, squadron commander, and Linda Zimmerman, deputy commander for senior members, provided logistical support.