Poteau eighth grade GEAR UP girls explore the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium

Fifty-three Poteau eighth grade girls recently traveled to Tulsa to explore the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. The museum houses many different aircraft and replicas related to different eras of flight, including the aviation history in Oklahoma. In the planetarium, viewers can recline and enjoy full-dome videos. Poteau students enjoyed the show “Stars”. This production propelled students through space as they witnessed up close and personal the birth and death of stars in our galaxy. “Supernova” is the term used for the death of a star. They learned of past scholars such as Copernicus and Galileo and how they furthered our knowledge of the universe by studying stars.

Students explored the museum. There are many exhibits in the museum including a F-14A Tomcat, an MD-80, and a full-scale replica of an Apollo Command Module. The MD-80, donated by American Airlines, is estimated to have carried approximately 5.5 million passengers.

Oklahoma has played a historic role in aviation over the years. In 1930 during the oil boom, Tulsa’s Municipal Airport became the busiest airport in the world. Due to demand, a remodel took place and was completed in 1931. Visitors can still see and walk through the original door frames.

“The Tulsa Air and Space Museum provides so many hands-on, science-based learning opportunities for our students,” 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.

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