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KidVenture Offers More Than Ever in 2019

By Abby Oleniczak

July 26, 2019 - KidVenture has always been the highlight for many children attending EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and an experience they will never forget. This year there is even more for them to discover.

In 2019, kids can build and take home an air band radio receiver to listen to air traffic control towers, try out the Air Force virtual reality simulators, or build, color, and launch Boeing model rockets in the field near Pioneer Airport.

However, the usual activities for children, typically ages 5-14, are still available and include a B-25 simulator in a real plane, an RC aircraft flying field, an amateur radio station, model airplanes and more. It is a wonderful hands-on learning experience, said Dave Stadt, who has been the vice chairman for KidVenture for 20 years.

Inside the Pioneer Airport hangar, there are two sides of fun for kids to participate in and explore: the workshop and building side, and the flight training side.

On the workshop and building side, children receive a checkpoint card when entering and get an initial from one of the volunteers when they have completed an activity. When a child has completed four stations, they will receive a small toolkit, and when they complete eight stations, they will receive a large toolkit.

The flight training side is similar, but is more informational with six checkpoints. Children can take part in a pre-takeoff flight inspection, learn how to communicate with air traffic controllers, discover weather science, and cover many ground school-related topics. Here, they can earn a backpack, an FAA-signed certificate, pins, and lots of other goodies for completing the projects.

"The goal for KidVenture is always to cover as much in aviation, airplane mechanics, and space-related study," Dave said. He has dedicated his life to engaging kids in aviation.

"I never had the opportunity growing up to be in KidVenture, and so I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to help kids."

More than 400 volunteers work 12,000 hours to make KidVenture a reality each year, Dave says.

KidVenture is located at Pioneer Airport across from the EAA Aviation Museum and is open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. through Saturday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.

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