Poteau eighth grade GEAR UP girls tour Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium


WILBURTON, Okla. (March 11, 2019) – Fifty-three Poteau eighth grade girls recently traveled to Tulsa to explore the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. The museum houses many different aircraft and replicas related to different eras of flight, including the aviation history in Oklahoma. In the planetarium, viewers can recline and enjoy full-dome videos. Poteau students enjoyed the show “Stars”. This production propelled students through space as they witnessed up close and personal the birth and death of stars in our galaxy. “Supernova” is the term used for the death of a star. They learned of past scholars such as Copernicus and Galileo and how they furthered our knowledge of the universe by studying stars.

Students explored the museum. There are many exhibits in the museum including a F-14A Tomcat, an MD-80, and a full-scale replica of an Apollo Command Module. The MD-80, donated by American Airlines, is estimated to have carried approximately 5.5 million passengers. 

Oklahoma has played a historic role in aviation over the years. In 1930 during the oil boom, Tulsa’s Municipal Airport became the busiest airport in the world. Due to demand, a remodel took place and was completed in 1931. Visitors can still see and walk through the original door frames.

“The Tulsa Air and Space Museum provides so many hands-on, science-based learning opportunities for our students,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Leslie Hemphill. 

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. In 2017, Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.

Poteau eighth grade student Paige Rice checks out a space suit at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

Poteau GEAR UP eighth grade girls toured the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Montanna Robertson, Serenity McKee, Christabelle Maynard, Aleena Tippit, Kayleana Shelley, Alexa Mabala, Karoline Thornburg, Rio Torres, (row 2) Payton Stover, Hailey Whitecotton, Allison Reed, Lana McBride, Mikala Seachord, Terrah Oglesby, Allison Mattox, Lilly Tramel, Melanie Solito, Damaris Martinez, (back row) Bonnie Ellis, Kayla Smith, Kyla Phillips, Carleigh Underwood-Parham, Maci Pitchford, Allison Reed, Amelia True, Jacie Perry, Paige Rice, and Education Coordinator Leslie Hemphill.

Poteau eighth grader Hailey Whitecotton is ready for flight in the Rocket Ranger 2000 at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

Poteau GEAR UP students toured the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Emma Leeper, Breezie Kneisley, Lyndsey Clark, Akira Bethel, Jezebel Gabriel, Kennedy Cox, Evelyn England, (row 2) Education Coordinator Leslie Hemphill, Kayla Cardoza, Jacy Johnson, Selena Giron, Trinity Baker, Kymber Hinson, Tommie Attee, Breanna Foster, (back row) Chyanne Brickell, Mackenzie Lingenfelter, Jaiden Davies, Lexi Fitzpatrick, and Taylor Ford.

Poteau students Carleigh Underwood-Parham, Evelyn England, Sisnie Brookfield, and Maci Pitchford with a model plane at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

Poteau eighth grade students Christabelle Maynard, Lyndsey Clark, Elizabeth Reed, and Chyanne Brickell take a seat at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

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