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SCVi Learners Taking to the Skies

Southern California Soaring Academy to Bring Glider to Charter School

Posted: February 13, 2016 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 13, 2016 2:00 a.m.
Full scale glider to visit SCVi Charter School. Photo by Sydney Croasmun Full scale glider to visit SCVi Charter School. Photo by Sydney Croasmun
Full scale glider to visit SCVi Charter School. Photo by Sydney Croasmun
• SCVi students inside the full scale glider. Photo by Sydney Croasmun • SCVi students inside the full scale glider. Photo by Sydney Croasmun
• SCVi students inside the full scale glider. Photo by Sydney Croasmun
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As a tune-up for an upcoming student soaring day, the Southern California Soaring Academy is bringing a glider to SCVi Charter School to give students who are studying aerodynamics an up close and personal look at the flying machine.

“These learners are studying most of the concepts real pilots learn about, and have to know how the aircraft works,” said Dustin Lengning, an 8th grade science facilitator at SCVi, the founding campus of iLEAD Schools. “They need to know about fluid dynamics, all three of Newton’s laws of motion, and how every piece on that aircraft works. These learners are then going to have the opportunity to fly in, and pilot, real aircraft under the supervision of qualified pilots.”

Julie Bennett, director of nonprofit activities for the SCSA, said the soaring academy will trailer and stage a glider on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at the parking lot of SCVi, a tuition-free public charter school located at 28060 Hasley Canyon Road.

“Students from the 8th grade (Dustin Lengning and Keith Falkner’s classes) have been learning about aerodynamics, Bernoulli’s principle, etc., and during this event, they will learn hands-on at the glider in four modules, with a pilot from the Soaring Academy conducting each module,” Bennett said. “Then in the afternoon students from the 11th grade physics class (Zaloa Goiri) will participate in the same way.”

The up-close lesson is a prelude to a special “flying day” to be held at the Antelope Valley airfield where SCSA is based. The 8th graders will have a chance to join an SCSA pilot and fly in the gliders on Feb. 28, and the 11th-grade flying date is to be held later in the spring.

SCVi Charter School is an open and fun multi-age classroom environment that promotes and celebrates independent thinking, cooperation and the development of critical 21st century skills. SCVi emphasizes project-based learning in a literacy- and math-rich environment that also promotes social and emotional development.

Both Lengning and Bennett credited Kathleen Fredette, head of STEAM Initiatives for iLEAD Schools, with playing a key role in establishing the connection between SCVi and the soaring academy. They said it was Fredette, a member of the board of advisors for the SCSA’s STEM-Glider Program, who established the vision to bring aeronautics to the charter school’s learners.

Lengning said the program, in its second year at SCVi, has been a hit with students.

“I am always looking for big, large-scale, fun, real-world applications for my learners,” said Lengning, who along with Faulkner has received SCSA flight training as part of the partnership with SCVi. “When I had the opportunity to take to the skies, I knew my learners were going to love it.”

Lengning added: “My hope is that these learners get hooked on something that many kids their age would never have the opportunity to be a part of. How many kids can say they flew a real airplane? If I can inspire even one learner to get into the field, who otherwise would never have had the opportunity, it is a win.”

SCVi offers project-based K-12 curriculum and student-led assessment with global and culturally diverse influences. The tuition-free charter school emphasizes an inquiry-based, learner-centered approach to education. SCVi’s primary goal is to help learners lead a successful and fulfilled life while contributing to the world around them. More information about SCVi and iLEAD Schools is available at
www.ileadschools.org.

 

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