Young Engineers Explore Aerospace History

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High school students in James Connell’s robotics and computer-aided drafting classes recently visited the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, which serves to honor the area’s aerospace heritage by preserving and displaying Long Island’s contribution to air and space travel. During the field trip, the students viewed an IMAX film on the solar system, took a half-hour class on the history of space travel and toured the museum’s exhibits. The museum docents – including retired engineers, pilots or former military members – provided the students with a wealth of information about every exhibit as well as personal knowledge about the field of engineering.  

“Many of my robotics and CAD students are aspiring engineers and I wanted to provide them with an opportunity to celebrate the deep history of engineering and aerospace design that was done here on Long Island,” Connell said.

“Visiting the Cradle of Aviation was a lot of fun, and it was quite informative,” said senior Sophia Bates. “As an aspiring engineer, getting to walk around and see the exhibits and airplanes was an awesome experience.”

“Over the summer, I visited Washington, DC and the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum,” said sophomore James Mendolia. “However, I feel that my experience at the Cradle of Aviation was far better and more informative because the docents where able to have a conversation with me and talk about the history of these planes on a deeper level. Most were pilots or engineers who flew or built the planes, so they had a more extensive knowledge, making this trip an even more amazing experience.”