Girl Scouts learn aviation history and careers with help from women aviators
Bailey Burkhartsmeier, volunteer for the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and dressed in Emilia Earhart style said it is exciting to see young girls introduced into the world of aviation at such a young age. Sporting alongside Sassy, a North American Ryan Navion L-178 SWS 5 WWII training aircraft, she said, “Sassy is going to see more women today than in in her 70 year career. Sassy trained a lot of young lads in the Navy in her time.”
At Gillespie Field, Burkhartsmeier was talking about the Girl Scouts “You Can Be…a Pilot” event where 60 Girls Scouts from sixth to twelfth grade landed at Hanger One, Air Group One (AG1) for a morning of exploring the world of aircraft careers with the help of the Women in Aviation International, San Diego Chapter on Saturday, Oct. 19.
With a display of aircraft for the scouts to look at, climb on and learn about, the morning was spent with women in aviation teaching them about careers in aviation. From pilots to Desert Jet CEO Denise Wilson, these Girl Scouts were encouraged to keep interest in school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs and the successful careers achieved with this type of education.
Rich Kenney, AG1 marketing director said it has a program ASTEM (aviation, science, technology, engineering and math) that works well in tandem with the Girl Scouts STEM program “You can be…” series. He said the connection with the Women in Aviation International and Girl Scouts, that AG1 was thrilled to come onboard.
“These ladies have stepped it up and are passing it on to the next generation,” said Kenney. “It’s a passion in aviation to give back and introduce kids on a right path.”
Stephanie Dawes, Girl Scouts program specialist, said the event went extremely well and they were proud to partner with Women In Aviation International and Air Group One.
Dawes said in talking to the girls and reading their reviews after the event, they were excited and ready to start exploring the aviation careers they were exposed to. “It was not just pilots, but they also got to learn about air traffic control, aviation engineering, flight attendants and other aviation careers,” she said.
Col John Telles, USMC retired, AG1 education coordinator said they are proud to be involved in anything that has to do with the advancement of youth.
“Whether it is Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, kids out of the school system or from the neighborhoods we are here to help them to make the choice to stay in school, get a high-tech degree and become a part of the high-tech working force and be the leaders that are going to replace us.”
Dawes said one of the most significant parts of the day is when Wilson, of Desert Jet taxied in and spoke to the girls.
“She was remarkable and really inspired the girls to go for it,” she said.
In Girls Scouts, Dawes said one of its missions is to give these young girls the tools they need to succeed and gain those leadership positions in the workforce.
“This event is just one of our ‘You can be…’ series, which serves to support the girls into STEM,” she said. “We learned that 74 percent of girls are interested in STEM curriculums and events like these are a way for the girls to connect what they learn in the classroom to the jobs available. This is just one of the vehicles that can take them places where they can change the world.”