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Changes to KidVenture Coming for AirVenture 2021
By Erin Henze
July 8, 2021 – Due to travel restrictions and COVID precautions, KidVenture at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 will look a little different than normal.
To prepare for KidVenture, regular operations for Pioneer Airport will halt on July 21 and resume on August 4. During AirVenture, Pioneer Airport gets transformed into heaven-on-Earth for aviation-loving kids. With free admission to AirVenture for kids 18 and under, EAA has prepared a wide variety of activities and learning experiences for KidVenture.
“It’s been a challenging year with the changes necessary to make everybody feel comfortable,” said Dan Majka, EAA Lifetime 90726 and the director of KidVenture, “but I think we’ve got it worked out and I think it’s going to be a spectacular year.”
To spread attendees out, 11 tents are being placed around the Pioneer Airport grounds along with the permanent hangars residing there. Not only will this result in less people per building, but it will also provide more ventilation. The tents will contain a variety of activities such as prop building and virtual flying.
While a number of businesses that normally participate couldn’t come this year because of employee travel restrictions, many of them have committed to coming next year. In addition to this, a number of new businesses have come this year to fill in the open spaces at KidVenture, such as Siemens Corporation. Siemens will have a wide variety of hands-on STEM activities, computer simulations, and programming.
Back this year is the U.S. Air Force, bringing with them two F-16 simulators. Here, attendees will be able to use VR goggles to realistically fly these aircraft.
“I’m telling you,” explained Dan, “it’s as close to flying as you can get, it’s spectacular.”
Other highlights of this year’s KidVenture include a space flight hangar where attendees can build their own rockets, Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship winners helping train kids how to preflight an airplane, and, for those that complete all the A&P activities, an EAA toolset of their very own.
Though this year’s KidVenture may look a little different, it will be as action-packed and exciting as ever, with something for people of all interests.
“We’re not trying to make everybody a pilot, that’s not our goal,” Dan said. “Our goal is to make everybody an aviation enthusiast.”