Crowder GEAR UP sophomores and juniors tour TASM


WILBURTON, OK (Oct. 23, 2015) - Sophomore and junior GEAR UP students from Crowder High School recently toured the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium (TASM).

Korean War Veteran Neal Thruston and Educational Guide Jared Casci led the group throughout the adventure. Students sat in a German WWII jet engine fighter plane. Some students sat in the pilot seat of a Rockwell Ranger 2000, a jet trainer. The Ranger 2000 was one of only three built for Air Force testing.

Students also stepped into the cockpit of a jet and tested their ability to fly in a Viper F–16 Wind Tunnel simulator. The exhibit allowed them to experience pitch, roll, and yaw using a control stick and rudder pedals to fly a model F–16. Students learned pilots had to use their hands and feet to maneuver the aircraft.

Next students found the F–14 Tomcat fighter jet prominently in the center of the Hangar One museum. Capable of reaching speeds near 2.5 times the speed of sound, its primary missions were fleet air defense and precision air strikes.

“The Tomcat F–14 jet had to land on boats after battles,” Thurston explained. “The Tomcat F–14 was used in military defense, received ‘Top Gun’ honors, and was finally retired by the US Navy in 2006.”

GEAR UP students soared through space as they watched the IMAX production of “STARS.” Every star has a story. Some are as old as time, faint and almost forgotten. Others burn bright and end their lives in powerful explosions. New stars are created every day, born of vast clouds of gas and dust. Through every phase of their existence, stars release the energy that powers the Universe. Students journeyed to the furthest reaches of our galaxy and experienced both the awesome beauty and destructive power of STARS. STARS took everyone on a virtual reality ride through history and space. With exploding gases and colorful meteors, the movie referenced astronomers Galileo and Copernicus and how they discovered stars and planets and studied the solar system.

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature.

Crowder GEAR UP students recently toured the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. Pictured are: Front row: Sierra Buller, Lauri Ragan, Kaytlen Sennet, and Kaitlyn Daniel. Back row: Kaitlyn Motley, Robert Hicks, Jennifer Heaslet, Liam Morris, Dylan Montes, Paige White, Brianna Henley, Lizzy Thompson, Collin Smith, Dayton Pace, Jacob Lott, Zach Moore, Stoney Ragan, Gina DeAngelilo, Abby Tighe, and Isabel Ibarra.

Crowder students are entertained by Korean War Veteran Neal Thruston as he talks about the treasured Rockwell Ranger 2000, a jet trainer. Students pictured are Jennifer Heaslet, Kaitlyn Motley, Destiny McGuire and Paige White.

Students look on as Crowder sophomore Robert Harris “pilots” a F–14 Tomcat fighter jet.

Crowder GEAR UP students listen as TASM tour guide Jared Casci talks about the aircrafts in the museum. Crowder junior Dylan Montes is looking at the screen showing the air currents and learning how wind is directed and monitored by air traffic controllers.

Crowder GEAR UP students Jacob Lowe and Zach Moore pose in front of a World Jet Liner replica.

Lauri Ragan, Kaytlen Sennet, Sierra Buller and Kaitlyn Daniel pose in front of the penguin at the TASM. The penguin was one of many created to celebrate the zoo and help raise funds for the zoo’s penguin exhibit.

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