by Program Director and VISTA Supervisor Myra Petgrave
TAM’s High School Fundamentals of Aviation class sponsored by California Community Foundation Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow recently took a field trip to the Chester Washington Golf Course as part of the 10-week curriculum. The outings incorporate the role of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in both the playing of the game as well as the hundreds of employment fields within the industry.
The field trip was run by Jorge Badel, Senior Golf Director using the ‘self concept” methodology of teaching in the program. This allowed the student to see theory played out in real life. The forces that make a ball go up, down left and right are the same aerodynamic forces that make a plane fly. Badel also serves as an adult advisor for TAM’s Aviation Explorer Post 409.
“I met with the kids last night and they are still ecstatic about being exposed to golf. One kid will be taking a train and then bus to Chester Washington to hit some balls today. Another young lady expressed her gratitude for the wonderful staff at Chester Washington and that she was “very grateful to those who donated the food”. That comment left me teary eyed,” said Badel.
The food and field trip was made possible by American Golf Corporation, Chester Washington Golf Course and the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. TAM would like to thank Jorge, Chris, Angie, Jack Glant and all staff at the course. Angie had excellent control over the programmatic portion of the class and Jack gave a great show and tell on golf course maintenance as well as addressing opportunities in the filed of Agronomy (Science).
These outings are small victory for the game of golf, but a huge victory for the community in that we have exposed kids to STEM opportunities beyond the aviation and aerospace industries.
|Chester Washington Golf Course field trip|
Go Kart World… a place of friends, food & fun. Fast fun. Really fast fun!
But who would think that Go Kart World could also be a place of STEM learning? When we took our Aviation Explorers to Go Kart World, not only did they get to race each other on the tracks, they were able to learn and experience first hand how physics plays into their playtime. The slick course taught them how friction, or lack there of, can affect your tires’ ability to turn the vehicle. Racing quickly around sharp corners showed them the importance of speed and turning ability in a vehicle and how it can make or break your finish time. Not to mention, the hard lesson of force multiplied by speed multiplied by the opposing force of the standing wall of a go kart track!
Over all, our Explorers, VISTAs, Executive Director and Programs Director had a great time on their Spring Break field trip!
Two more AmeriCorps*VISTAs have each completed a year of service to fight poverty through education at TAM. Catherine Bradshaw Program VISTA and Cristina Tolentino Development VISTA recruited new students, volunteers, and donors to support TAM’s mission.
Together, they worked tirelessly to build TAM’s partnerships with Compton Unified School District, Compton High, Davis Middle School, El Camino College Project Success, Google LAX, US Coast Guard, California Community Foundation Preparing Achievers for Tomorrow, Time Warner Cable Connect a Million Minds, and families. They helped build and improve our databases for tracking donors, volunteers, and students. Catherine and Cristina made it possible for TAM to serve more students while improving the afterschool program with a new High School Fundamentals of Aviation curriculum. They spent many hours sharing TAM’s mission and their passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to recruit new students and volunteers.
Catherine’s favorite thing about working at TAM was getting to know the students and watching them grow: “Even in one short year, I saw them make huge strides in their ability to communicate with others, seek out help when needed, and be confident when trying new things. It was so rewarding to be a part of that process, and I hope that my work contributes to making a great environment where more students can continue to grow on personal, scholastic, and professional levels.”
Cristina is currently serving a second year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member with Coaching Corps to improve the health, educational and social outcomes for kids living in struggling communities through the power of service and sports.
“We are so thankful for the AmeriCorps*VISTAs, and how much time and talent they have given to support TAM’s mission and the community we serve,” said Founder and Executive Director Robin Petgrave.
Thank you to all the wonderful people who volunteered with us this year! Because of their selfless dedication and boundless energy, we were able to accomplish more than ever…
A team of volunteers worked with the Compton Unified School District to make the 2012 Arts & Aviation festival better than ever and then came back in the fall to help us put on the Youth Air Fair. But volunteers weren’t just here for events! New partnerships with LB BLAST mentoring and El Camino College Project Success brought more than 50 student volunteers to TAM to mentor students, provide tutoring, and support our programs. Plus, our new friends from SkyWest have been working to take our intensive private pilot test preparation to the next level. They joined the ranks of engineers, pilots, and friends who mentor and coach TAM students every day.
Without these people, we would not be able to offer our unique programs to as many students. If you are interested in getting more involved at TAM, please visit our volunteer application.