EVERETT -- Pilot Joseph Barber walks around his fixed wing plane prior to flight. Listening intently is Jon Murray, a science teacher at Arlington High School. Wings, stabilizer, trim, landing gear, cross wind. All the basics of getting into the air.
"To learn about the science of flight is a big deal when we're teaching science, especially freshman science," says Murray. "This gives me another experience to relay to the kids to make it real for them."
The nine teachers are taking part in a four day course called "Airplanes! Bringing the Exciting World of Aviation to the Classroom", a graduate level professional development course for teachers sponsored by Paine Field Airport. In its 12 years, organizer Gary Evans says some 150 teachers have taken the course. Besides going up in a plane, teachers will tour Boeing's Everett assembly plant, the tower at Paine Field and
"Airports are just crucial. And the aviation industry is crucial," says Evans, himself a teacher at Snohomish High School. "Teachers are the ones who are supplying the people who are going to work in that field."
You don't have to be a science teacher to benefit from the course. Kathleen Simons is an art specialist in nine districts. "Science and art dovetail really easily together," she says. "Because it's all about discovering and experimenting."
Physics, engineering, manufacturing and design. Gary Evans says it's all about getting teachers to see the possibilities. "It's to get the teachers excited about aviation and take that excitement back to the classroom."
The course costs $350. Participants receive three teaching credits.