The subject of aerospace isn’t usually associated with 11 to 14 year-olds laughing and chasing rubber band powered foam “rockets.” But that’s what happened when Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets hosted a science workshop for middle-schoolers last Thursday at Washington Irving Middle School in Springfield.
After a break from the foam and rubber band experiments the youngsters explored scientific principles by launching “fizzy flyers,” tiny paper and plastic rockets powered by Alka-Seltzer tablets. Finally, the participants were asked to imagine they have survived a crash landing on the moon. Given a list of the items left after the crash they had to make group decisions as to what items would be most useful for their survival until rescue. The exercise provided a quick elementary lesson in logical thinking and group dynamics.
The workshop’s enjoyable combination of fun and learning was conceived, organized and led by CAP Cadet Captain Julia Demyanovich. The events were mentored and assisted by Burke Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol members as part of the CAP’s core mission of aerospace education.
The Civil Air Patrol is a diverse, inclusive volunteer community organization dedicated to emergency service (search and rescue and disaster relief), aerospace education and the Cadet Program. The CAP is not solely for pilots and aircrew. Adults and teens from all walks of life, skill levels, physical abilities and professions participate in the many CAP activates. More information on the Civil Air Patrol’s Burke Composite Squadron can be found at http://www.burkecap.org/.