In Review

As 2016 came to a close, Museum of Aviation Foundation staff looked back on all that had been accomplished, and knew that we wanted to keep the momentum going in 2017. This meant that our first three events, which were just about back to back, were something to remember. Beginning with our Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K, we set our standards high, and really looked at what runners wanted. With a sponsorship from Clif Bar, pizza from My Father’s Place and Little Caesars, and donations from Coca Cola, Kroger, Walmart, and Publix32327012366_bb4f1c49c4_b-2, our runners were well fueled before and after their race. Moisture wicking shirts from Ibalz were wellreceived, and thanks to Jim Rainey, Race Director from Georgia Multisports, Volunteer Coordinator, MSgt. Amanda McCullough, and Security Police Officer, SSgt. Samuel Harrison our racers had a safe run around Robins AFB.  Thank you also to David Collins Photography for sunning pictures of the event.

The second event of the year was our annual Winter Wonderfest. Each year thousands get a thrill from the chilly snow tubes, enjoy bounce houses, and dine on the best of food truck fare.

This year we upped our offerings, and brought in a zip line and snow play. Kids of all ages soared through the sky, made snow angels, and bounced to their hearts delight while visitors took a walk through our Eagle building to see what our vendors had for sale this year. Soaps, jewelry, woodcarvings, baked goods, and more gave our guests a wide range of things to purchase. Smiling faces were the best part of the weekend, and we look forward to making doing it again next year.

Our third event was our first ever Breakaway Gala. A 1920’s themed B-17 benefit, the Breakaway Gala mixed old and new into an authentic 20’s event. Guests dined on

appetizers from Maddox Catering, snapped pictures in front of the B-17 and a vintage automobile, and danced the Charleston to some of their favorite tunes, mixed by DJ X-One. During the evening, we honored our friend and B-17 pilot, Crawford Hicks, who celebrated his 96th birthday that weekend. We are thankful to those who came out to show love to the B-17, and enjoy an evening at the Museum.

March at the Museum is bringing more changes to events and our campus. New audio visual capabilities are being installed, and our annual Scott Golf tournament will be held at Idle Hour Country Club in Macon. In addition to these events, our Education Department will hold their Coding & Programming course, Educator Workshop, and Spring Into STEM program. For more information on what is coming up, keep an eye on our website, and  Facebook .


The Education Center at the Museum of Aviation

Did you know that the Museum of Aviation Foundation, Inc. operates the Education Center at the Museum of Aviation?  The Education Center operates 5 major programs, and serves an average of 50,000 students and teachers a year through its hands-on STEM and History focused programs.  Field trips, STEM Labs, Summer Camps, and other educational special events are held throughout the year for participants as young as 4 years old.

The Aviation Heritage Center is home to the Museum’s Guided Tour programs as well as birthday parties, scouts programs, and special history programs like the WWII Outreach program and the GA Studies Tour.  Each year, Ms. James, the history program coordinator, makes a special visit to local retirement centers to spend time with veterans and coordinates many veteran focused tours at the Museum.


The National STEM Academy operates STEM focused programs for schools and individuals throughout the year.  Programs are offered to Pre K – 12th grade students and vary per theme and grade level.  Computer classes, the Mission Quest Flight Simulation program, ACE, and specialized STEM summer camps are just a few of the offerings each year.  All classes feature hands-on activities for students and promote workforce development opportunities in STEM careers.  Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are always available.

Offering something for everyone is what the Education Center strives for.  With the STEM Training Academy for Teachers (STAT), the Education Center completes the circle, offering classes for adults and educators as well as internship opportunities for college students.  It’s home to Georgia’s NASA Regional Educator Resource Center that holds monthly professional development workshops and offers free resources to teachers for use in their classrooms.


Rounding out the five programs are STARBASE Robins and GYSTC.  STARBASE Robins is part of the premiere Department of Defense STARBASE STEM Program.  The program engages students through its inquiry-based curriculum with its “hands-on, mind-on” experiential activities. The goal is to motivate students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they continue their education.  During each student’s 25 hours of instruction, they are introduced to many STEM concepts and skills as well as 3D modeling and 3D printing.  STARBASE ROBINS programs include its signature fifth grade program as well as its STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program, summer academies and robotics tournaments.

GYSTC or Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center is available for K – 8th grade students and teachers. Student outreach programs and teacher professional development programs at member elementary and middle school sites are offered.  GYSTC partners with the Georgia Department of Education, business/industry leaders and local member schools to feature Family Science Nights, the STARLAB portable planetarium, teacher training workshops and student workshops.

With so much to offer the Middle GA community, it’s impossible to cover it all in one article, but we have tried to give you a synopsis of what you can expect from the Museum of Aviation’s Education Center.  Visit their website anytime to get detailed information on the different field trips and programs that they offer and check out the Summer Camp classes coming up while you’re there!

The Aviator

Looking to learn more about the Museum of Aviation? Look no further than our monthly newsletter, The Aviator. This newsletter gives you an in depth look at our restoration efforts, events, venues, Museum supporters, and more. Take a look below for a preview of The Aviator, and if you would like to subscribe, just email us at and let us know you want to receive the aviator.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank You

Thank you for aiding us in maintaining quality exhibits, providing fantastic programs, and restoring historical aircraft.  We would like to thank the following donors for doing their part to keep our Museum growing.

Jeff Smith Automotive

Walter Keel                            

Arthur MacDonald                                   

Howard & Marian Fraley   

Mercer University                                    

Tom McMichael

David & Lynn Morley                               

Rubye Vadini 

Michael Harris                                           

Steve Holcomb Jr.

John Harley                                                 

Automotion Customs Inc.

Carolyn Crayton                                        

Warren Faircloth

Bernard Parker                                          

Andrew Greenwood

Henry Personius

Guest Blog: Benefits of Teaching Kids To Code That No One Is Talking About

Written By: Michael Rosario, Inspired to Educate

Scratch - Teaching kids to code

“In previous blog posts, we have discussed the necessity to encourage science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) especially in the United States. As our culture has become increasingly digital, we have coined this term of “digital natives” to describe the current generation of kids who grow up playing with IPads, cell phones and computers.

In conversations I have had with advocates of STEM education, some believe it’s important to get kids interested in learning about STEM topics before the 4th of 5th grade. Why? Around middle school, children start to form opinions about what is “cool” or “not cool.” Most kids put things like math, science and computer science into the “un-cool” category.

Mitch Resnick of the MIT media lab and his team of researchers have taken up the challenge of teaching kids to become fluent with technology. While we commonly call kids “digital natives,” Mitch challenges us to take students to the next level. Students should not be passive consumers of knowledge and entertainment. In Mr. Resnick’s view, digital natives should have the ability to make and create technology. In an increasingly digital world, he suggests that students should develop a basic fluency in computer programming and gain a sense of how software works.

I really admire the work he and his team have done on Scratch, a computer programming environment created for kids. It’s designed to be very fun and interactive. Using Scratch, students can create very dynamic interactive experiences and games by simply connecting puzzle pieces together. Many of these student experiences are not trivial to code using traditional programming tools. In the following TED talk, Mr. Resnick describes his passion for teaching kids to appreciate computer programming and how Scratch works.


I really appreciate that Scratch helps kids to have fun with math. Without a doubt, tools like Scratch are encouraging students to become creative. Creativity is such a precious skill that we need to promote to our students. With tools like Scratch, students are getting a fun introduction to design thinking and systems thinking.
Things don’t always work out well when you’re programming in Scratch or any other programming environment. You have to learn how to work through bugs and imperfections. Mr. Resnick suggests that students who use Scratch learn a sense of persistence. Since students engaged in getting their game or their creative project working, they naturally start asking questions, find answers, and learn to work through problems.

I love Mr. Resnick’s closing idea. Teaching kids to code is not about programming itself. It’s about promoting creativity, curiosity, teaching persistence, and giving young people a sense of how they can create technology. All of these fluencies are needed in our rapidly changing world.

Related Links:

Please visit the following links to learn more about Mitch Resnick and his research.   I have also included other links related to teaching computer programming to kids and teens.

“Inventors Workshop” series at the Museum of Aviation

In 2017, Check out the “Inventors Workshop” series at the Museum of Aviation.  We’ve designed these workshops to introduce young makers to engineering and tinkering with code, digital fabrication, and robotics.   Through making and tinkering, participants will learn S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills using their hands, grow their creativity and become more curious about their world and test the limits of what is possible.

Learn more here.

A big thank you to Michael Rosario for this wonderful and educating blog.  To learn more about our Guest Blogger, Michael Rosario, you can visit his website here.

To view all upcoming events and workshops at the Museum of Aviation, click here!

Restoration Update for November

November began with the difficult task of removing almost all of the aircraft and exhibits from the main floor of the Century of Flight building in preparation of the floor being resurfaced.  This task involved towing aircraft and engines, removing large parts of exhibits, and driving a reluctant fire engine out of the hangar.

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With the hangar almost empty, floor crews came in to transform the well worn floor into something that lends a pristine light to the space.  With the floors completed, our team now has the task of replacing all aircraft and exhibits.

In addition to the floor project, our Restoration team continued work on the B-17 and the HU-16 Albatross, along with keeping up with general Museum maintenance.  Take a look below to see what has been accomplished.

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Annual Fund Drive

There are numerous ways to support Museum programs, community events, and restoration efforts throughout the year, but the Annual Fund is the most simple way to donate.  The Annual Fund also gives you a chance to make a last minute write off for your 2017 taxes, while propelling the Museum into the upcoming year.  Click to view the Annual Fund Donation site, or click here to read our Annual Fund letter, and see how your donations continue to help us benefit communities around the state of Georgia.

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Planes & Trains, Mannequin Challenge, and a Mystery to Die For.



This year Planes & Trains had to be relocated to the Eagle Building due to the floors being remodeled in Century of Flight.  This gave us the opportunity to “ride the rails” around the F-15 and through scenic villages.  Click the here to see the full video on YouTube.

November’s hottest social media trend was the Mannequin mannequin-rosieChallenge.  After seeing some creative videos, our staff thought doing the challenge at the Museum would be a great way to showcase our aircraft, exhibits, and our upcoming Winter Wonderfest.  Even Rosie the Riveter made an appearance during the video.  Take a look.


Ever wanted to attend our Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, but wasn’t sure if it was for you?  Click here to read an honest review of Ho Ho Homicide, then keep an eye on our

website and Facebook pages for the next Murdery Mystery Dinner Theatre.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, an Honest Review

Dinner theatre is not my thing.  I can’t say that I have ever wanted to go to one.  I have been to the ballet.  Hated it.  Yes, I can recognize the artistic merit of live theatre, ballet, and poetry readings, but that is not where I would choose to be; especially not on a Friday night.  So, when my best friend, whose birthday was coming up, called me on Monday and said, “let’s go to the theatre”, I was not thrilled.  However, since she is an absolute angel of a person, and I was at a loss as to what to get her this year, I said sure.

When Friday arrived, I steeled myself for the agony that I knew was coming.  I met her at the Museum, and went into Hangar 1 ready to be bored for the next two hours.  When we were seated, I noticed that there were people in ugly sweaters everywhere.  Some were ugly, some were just hysterically funny. If nothing else, I thought that I could at least get a good giggle out of what others were wearing.


As we waited for dinner to be served, the actors went to each table telling lies and spreading rumors.  When they came to our table, they asked what department we worked in. So, unsure of what to say,  we quickly said Research and Development, hoping that was an appropriate answer.  As the actors continued to make their rounds, we quickly found that Wendy was the most hated person in the office, and that the janitor would make Jason Bourne’s skill set seem tame.

During dinner we chatted with our table mates about kids, date nights, dogs, and the joys of homework. Dinner was tasty, but the dessert was fantastic.  I really wanted to snag the one that was sitting at the empty seat next to my friend, but thought better of it.  While we ate, the cast continued to make their rounds, trying to get the audience as wrapped up in the act as they could.  Then the real show started.  The actors interacted with the audience as if they were truly employees of company.  Pink slips were given, accusations made, and secret lovers revealed.  I was enthralled.  By the end of the first half hour, I was laughing out loud.  By the end of the show, I was ready for the one coming in May.  So, while I am still not big into theatre, I am definitely into this one.

Cast and directors of Ho Ho Homicide

By: Christin McFarland