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A Celebration of Life XIX: Flight!

September 01, 2014

A Celebration of Life XIX: Flight! was the 19th offering of a summer science program for upper elementary and middle school students held in Fitchburg, Wis.

The goal of this program partnership between the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center Institute ( ) and the African American Ethnic Academy is to support African American students’ interest in the sciences and provide them with the tools for success in school.

A long-term objective is to increase the number of minority students who enroll in, and successfully complete high school science courses, and who eventually choose to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers.

In addition to developing knowledge and abilities associated with scientific investigations in field and laboratory settings (e.g. formulating and testing hypotheses, utilizing problem-solving skills, learning and demonstrating correct techniques), students are challenged to develop their communication skills (e.g. through teamwork, journals, presentations to parents and family members). They are also encouraged to express and develop their creativity in numerous ways. Information regarding African-American scientists throughout history is shared, and role models of color are key participants in program activities.

2014 topics and activities included:

  • basic principles of flight
  • how birds fly
  • constructing/testing aircraft and rockets
  • current NASA projects related to flight, including space exploration
  • historic and contemporary African American (STEM) professionals, including those affiliated with NASA
  • careers in aviation
  • field trips to the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh and the Promega Corporation Hangar in Madison
  • student presentations of activities to peers, family members and other guests on the last day of the program

Support for this program includes funding from the WSGC.

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