TAM Helps Davis Middle School’s STEM Program Take Flight

Students flocked to helicopters that landed on the campus of Davis Middle School on Nov. 12, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and TAM's Robin Petgrave.

Benjamin O. Davis Middle School in Compton was the site of a visit from very important figures in aviation. Guinness world record-holding pilot Barrington Irving and Tuskegee Airman Levi Thornhill visited Davis Middle School on Nov. 12 as part of the school’s inaugural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) celebration.

Thornhill and Irving’s visit was made possible thanks to Executive Director Robin Petgrave and Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum. Petgrave, along with Irving, landed on the campus of Davis Middle School, along with members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Irving, Thornhill and Petgrave delivered a message to students from Davis as well as schools across the Compton Unified School District regarding the importance of focusing on studying and staying in school.

Tuskegee Airman Levi Thornhill spoke to students on Nov. 12 at Davis Middle School.

Thornhill spoke on how vital it is for students to prepare themselves for the future by applying themselves in school. “The better you prepare yourself, the better job you’re going to do, the better life you’re going to have, and the better contribution you’re going to make to mankind,” Thornhill said.

TAM Executive Director Robin Petgrave taught students at Davis Middle School about the power of observation. Petgrave did so by rewarding two lucky students with 20 dollars each.

Petgrave also spoke to the students, displaying a brief demonstration, in which two lucky students received 20 dollars each, simply for doing what Petgrave describes as seizing an opportunity. Petgrave told the students that simply by showing up to class every day, they are seizing the opportunity to do something great.

Irving was the final speaker at the event. Irving emphasized to the students that he would not have had all the accomplishments he is known for, including being the youngest pilot to ever fly solo as well as being the first African-American to fly across the world, if it weren’t for applying the skills he learned in school with regard to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

After the presentation, students had the opportunity to sit in the helicopters flown by Petgrave and the LASD, with assistance from TAM’s own, James Knox, Kenny Roy and MacArthur Dandridge.

Local news station ABC 7 was on site to report on the event and spoke with the event’s guests. You can find the story here.

TAM’s visit to Davis Elementary – Nov. 12, 2014 by Slidely Slideshow


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