In Indiana third graders study "Our Community". Our school's third graders took a walking field trip earlier this week and I tagged along as a chaperone. We had a really good time and were all worn out when we got back to the school 6 hours later!
Near our school is the local airport, 3 colleges, and a brand-new fire station, all within walking distance.
First up we went to the Air Museum at our local airport. Back in the day it was an Air Force Base. A retired general who commanded the Base still lives in town. The museum has a lot of local volunteers who have built it up and who happily toured us through.
First up we watched a video in the media center about the gliders that were built at our Air Force Base and people came to train to fly them. The media center itself is built to resemble the inside of a glider. The kids were super-impressed when a screen came down behind the gentleman speaking to show us the video.
The benches some of us were sitting on are actual recovered benches from WWII gliders.
We were honored that Gus Potthoff was at the Air Museum the day we were there. He was a WWII slave labor prison camp survivor. Mr. Potthoff was instrumental in the production of the film "Lest We Forget" that honored those he served with who died alongside him on the Burma-Thailand "Death Railway" and the "Bridge Over the River Kwai". Please click here to learn more about Mr. Potthoff. He spent a lot of time with Brennan and me on our visit.
Photo of Mr. Potthoff receiving his Emmy
One of the paintings that Mr. Potthoff created of his time during WWII.
Brennan and Sean in front of an authentic re-created glider.
Jacob, Ethan, Rogan, Brennan, and Sean
Two of the squadrons of the Tuskegee Airmen were stationed at the Air Force Base during WWII.
And then it was on to the Fire Station! Officer Williams was a terrific guide! We got to see where the three crews of firefighters sleep, exercise, cook, eat, hang-out, work and train at the Fire Station.
Officer Williams got all geared up for us.
There is a celebrity working at Fire Station #2. The second firefighter from the left is Allen Smith who was on last season's Biggest Loser tv show. He was a great competitor on the show and did Columbus proud.
Then it was off to the Center for Teaching and Learning and Indiana University-Purdue University of Columbus (IUPUC).
The CTL houses some beautiful artwork, including this Chihuly on the ceiling that I could look at for hours. We've seen quite a few pieces of his including here and here.
Those who worked at the universities we visited gave us great tours. We saw what the libraries are like inside a college. We got to sit in computer and auditorium style classrooms and ask lots of questions about how college will be different from elementary school.
This moving water globe was a huge hit!
When one of the science professors asked the students if they wanted to see a real brain (in the jar in her hand), Brennan was the first to line up, with a huge smile on his face.
At one of the large sculptures outside. A student ambassador came out to talk to the kids about college. He did magic tricks as well and was a big hit with the kids. He had an important message about studying hard and being curious and one day going to college to learn even more. The kids would have done anything he asked them to at that point.
I'm so glad I get to be a part of these days with the kids. I learned so much and really enjoyed getting to know Brennan's classmates and some of their parents a little better.