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Written by Bill Pritchett
Updated from the September 2016 issue of
Model Aviation.

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. Philosophy is wondering if that means ketchup is a smoothie." - Unknown

Since the first two parts of the quote for this month ran, a number of readers told me that it was one of their favorites. Recently I ran across part three. Might we call this additional “food” for thought?

As we find ourselves in the middle of our busiest and best time of the year—flying season—it’s always great to see and hear about people learning to do something. My guess is that more than 90% of us have a comfort zone in which we always try to stay.

If you don’t think so, spend some quality time watching your buddies the next time you’re at the club. Some can almost be predicted in what’s going to happen next! Is this a bad thing? Probably not … after all, it’s a hobby, and if staying in your zone every Saturday and Sunday for a couple hours satisfies your hobby, then so be it.

Consider this though: what if you could do a really nice ________? It could be any maneuver, but certainly one that you can’t do now! If you can fly inverted, that’s great. Now fly an inverted flat 90° turn at each end of the field. A full flight of those will improve a lot of things—inverted elevator/maintain altitude control; inverted rudder control; inverted aileron control keeping wings level. When you’ve got this, make it a flat inverted Figure 8.

This is but one of thousands of examples of something you could try. Learn something and possibly you’ll soon have a fresh approach to the entire hobby. Please take a minute to review our latest overview of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) material we have available. Don’t hesitate to call/email and we’ll send what you need and support your efforts 100%!

AMA’s signature STEM-certified program, AeroLab, gives middle school and high school science and math classroom teachers a “curriculum-in-a-box” for teaching STEM through aviation.

The program is endorsed by retired astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson, and provides simple tools to teach the concepts of force and motion, potential/kinetic energy, and centripetal force. The activities also allow students to practice important math skills to determine average speed and distance flown and provide nearly six weeks of classroom activities for “Education Through Aviation.”

AMA’s Education department has several other programs that include:

AMA Flight School—An interactive website that answers the question “How do I,” AMA Flight School offers do-it-yourself activities, educational resources, videos, and outreach information. It is a user-friendly resource for members, clubs, teachers, and anyone wanting to know more about aeromodeling.

Learn sUAS—Learn sUAS is a one-stop educational resource designed to teach sUAS pilots, “what to know before you fly.” Here you will find information about FAA registration, two legal options to fly, getting your Part 107, finding a flying field, AMA educational programs, and a free sUAS safety course.

Flightline—The AMA e-newsletter created for young people interested in flying models. Expect each monthly issue to be packed with fun and exciting stories focused on or about youth in aviation.

MASC—A club charter program for school aeromodeling clubs, Model Aviation Student Club (MASC) gives schools the opportunity to teach aeromodeling curriculum. Some of the membership benefits for MASC include free AMA membership for the faculty sponsor and students, full AMA insurance benefits, scholarship opportunities, and access to the AMA’s educational resources.

UMASC—A club charter program for students with an interest in model aviation, University Model Aviation Student Club (UMASC) allows groups to form a club within their college or university. The faculty sponsor or advisor receives a free AMA membership and monthly print version of Model Aviation magazine. Students receive AMA memberships at a discounted rate, and a monthly digital copy of Model Aviation magazine.

UAS4STEM High School Challenge—The UAS4STEM high school challenge is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based program for students in eighth through 12th grade. The program is designed to encourage students to learn about the sUAS (drone) phenomenon through teamwork, competition, and success.

UAS4STEM Collegiate Challenge—The UAS4STEM Collegiate Challenge seeks to develop and challenge students to creatively solve problems in a unique operational environment, garner professional skills for industry employment, and develop best practices for various UAS operational tasks.

Take off And Grow (TAG)—Developed to encourage our members and clubs to promote modeling as a positive recreational activity to those in their communities, the TAG Program provides a one-day introduction of model aviation with the intent of drawing newcomers to our hobby.

Scholarships—Since 1970, AMA has awarded scholarships to students who are interested in aviation. Approximately $40,000 is available annually to be distributed in various amounts on the basis of AMA modeling activities, scholastic achievement, and citizenship achievement. Since the beginning of this program, AMA has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships.

Youth Leadership Award—The Youth Leadership Award is given to one AMA Youth member each year who shares the joy of the hobby with his or her community through volunteering at club fly-ins, encouraging his or her peers to get involved in aeromodeling, or helping other club members improve their piloting skills.

Flight Research Kits—These kits enable volunteers to introduce elementary and middle school students to the FPG-9 (Foam Plate Glider-9-inch), demonstrating how Newton’s third law keeps an airplane safely in the air.

AeroLab—AMA’s signature STEM-certified program provides middle and high school physical science and math classroom teachers with a “curriculum in a box” for teaching STEM through aviation.

AMA Day Camp—A new resource for club outreach volunteers, as well as any model aviation educator who is seeking guidance. Here you will find ideas, activities, and suggestions on how to deliver and promote our educational outreach program at home, in the classroom, or out at the flying field.

Camp AMA—AMA hosts more than 40 teenagers at a week-long summer camp once a year to enjoy flying with the nation’s top RC pilots. From beginners to advanced fliers, campers practice their techniques, watch flight demonstrations, develop new flight skills, and learn the best practices to help them adhere to AMA’s Safety Code.

AMA Alpha—The Alpha is a rubber-powered airplane that provides amazing flight duration, controlled flight, and can easily be disassembled and taken home to fly again.

UAS 4 Public Safety Training—This hands-on training course provides public safety officers with the necessary knowledge to safely and effectively use UAS technology in their daily jobs.

Commercial Operator Training—This online training course provides commercial UAS pilots with the knowledge needed to pass the FAA’s required Remote Pilot-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Certification Standards test.

Club Support Packages—AMA provides support and resources to clubs, teachers, and education outreach volunteers. To request support, contact the AMA Education department.

AMA Education Committee—The AMA Education Committee provides the organization with guidance and assistance in the formulation, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of educational programs and policies.

Education Outreach Volunteer Program—The Education Outreach Program features AMA members who are active and successful in local outreach programs. The program also serves as a forum and resource for educators to share ideas, activities, best practices, and ask questions.

Partnerships—The AMA Education department proudly partners in STEM resources and activities with NASA, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, DJI, Arconic Foundation, Civil Air Patrol, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), Science Olympiad, National Intercollegiate Flying Association, University Aviation Association, AlarisPro, Fly Robotics, National Coalition for Aviation and Space Education, AirMap, Soaring Society of America, and Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals.

Generations of Flight—AMA education campaign to celebrate model aviation, and to showcase model aircraft enthusiasts and their love for the hobby.

-Bill Pritchett

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