Fifty-five Poteau eighth grade students recently toured The Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. Upon arrival, students entered the planetarium and experienced the high-definition visual presentation “Stars,” They learned of the creation and death of stars, space travel, and how stars impacted past cultures, and their travel habits.
“I liked learning about the solar system in the planetarium and how stars are born and die” said eighth grade student Andrew Riley.
After viewing “Stars,” students were led to the museum to study and explore different aircraft. The museum is home to an MD-80 that was donated by American Airlines, among many other jets and planes. The MD-80 is estimated to have traveled approximately 38 million miles. Students climbed into certain aircraft within the museum and experienced the cockpit up close and personal by pressing buttons and handling controls.
A special exhibit the museum houses features Oklahoman NASA astronaut Bill Pogue. This is a small part of the history of air and space travel in Oklahoma, complete with a large collection of Pogue’s personal items. One of his accomplishments was piloting the last crew of Skylab Mission.
“I love that our students can travel to Tulsa and see the impact our state has had in the world of flight,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Leslie Hemphill.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.