Friday, April 27, 2007

Fighter Pilots to Grade Schoolers

Goldsboro, NC is the home of the Seymore-Johnson air force base – the training center for all F-15E Strike Eagle pilots and weapons system officers (WSOs) for the air force. While there, I had the somewhat surreal experience of explaining biofuels to a bunch fighter pilots – mostly lieutenants and captains, but their instructors (majors and colonels) were also very interested. Here’s the thing I learned: the stereotype of meat-headed pilot is completely wrong – these guys and gals were smart – they asked a lot of insightful questions, and really challenged me to give them good information.

While talking to the pilots, I met Mrs. M., a science teacher for the St. Mary’s School in Goldsboro. After talking to her for a bit, she invited us to give our talk to her school the following Monday morning -- only three days in the future!

On Monday, we spoke to about 80 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders – the first time we had ever spoken to a mixed age group. It was pretty difficult to come up with a talk that would interest the older kids without boring the younger ones (and vice-versa). We weren’t perfect, but I think we managed to do okay.

See this gallery for photos of schoolchildren and pilots admiring the car:
Vegetable Oil Road Trip Schools

A few updates:
Now that our presentation has gotten kicked around by several audiences, we are pretty close to publishing all our slides on the website for anyone to see (one of the many, many things we are working on for the website).

Speaking of the website, you may have noticed a few changes – we are working to streamline things while expanding the number articles we have available.

No comments:

Post a Comment