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What’s New at KidVenture
By Abby Oleniczak
July 27, 2017 - Nineteen years ago Paul Poberezny said he wanted to start a place where families and kids can learn and interact with aviation. Dan Majka, chairman of KidVenture and one of EAA’s board of directors, said, “I will do it for a year.” He did and is still engaging kids with activities at KidVenture today.
KidVenture is located just north of the EAA Aviation Museum and is a family-friendly place at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Kids can make model aircraft, propellers, rivet a name badge, make electric circuits, and learn all about flight training. The experience of learning from pilots, engineers, and mechanics gives kids a different viewpoint of aviation.
Dan’s hope for kids that come to KidVenture is that they know they don’t just have to be a pilot, they can be an aviation historian or aviation artist.
New to KidVenture this year is a C-47 that kids can sit in, a B-25 bomber simulator, and the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron traveling exhibit. At this exhibit visitors can meet and have one-on-one conversations with Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Harry T. Stewart Jr. Stewart was a fighter pilot in the 15th Air Force nearly 55 years ago. To learn more about the Tuskegee Airmen there is a 15-minute free movie called Rise Above.
Also new this year, Embry-Riddle has a booth to teach about composites, and the FAA is here with hand’s-on activities.
Next year’s exciting new feature will be the transformation of the middle hangar into a space flight system where you can build model rockets and fly model gliders into space. In this hangar the goal is to show kids how airplanes relate to spacecraft.
The overall experience at KidVenture is to pass on the love for aviation to the next generations.
Abby Oleniczak, 14, of Wheaton, Illinois, is an EAA member and hopes to be a professional columnist someday.