This post was authored by Lisa Combs and Mahreen Noman, with only minimal editing by your trusty Blog Master.
Leaving the warmth of the LFCC building, we step out into the cold but pleasant day. The horde of MVGS students makes its way to the charter buses that are idling on the curb waiting to take to them to their destination: the Udvar‐Hazy Air and Space Museum, location of the spring field experience. Climbing onto the buses, we scramble to get seats with our friends and settle down for the ride.
As the buses pull into the museum parking, we, the students, take in our surroundings. The grass all around us is a luscious green color, a reminder of spring. The day is clear out and the museum seems to be secluded in its own little world. To our left is a sculpture, strange but beautiful, adding to the atmosphere. We notice a tower attached to the museum and it soon becomes a desired destination for several students, but this quest must be put on hold.
Gazing in wonder and eager with excitement, we are ushered into the building of the museum and into the IMAX Theater. The screen, we are told, is six stories high, hard to believe but true. As the movie begins, the screen and the sound are overwhelming for both first time viewers and IMAX veterans alike. It is a unique experience for sure, one that is enjoyed by both students and teachers. Afterwards, we are split up, half of us sent on a tour guided by a practiced docent, the other half of us sent to explore the museum, scheduled to switch activities later. Both groups are given tickets to ride a simulator as we leave the theater.
Those sent on the tour are taken on an information-filled round of the museum. The docents divulge facts and stories about the aircraft housed in the museum, things that we would never have learned in a classroom. All of the new knowledge is absorbed into our minds, and we gaze with awe at the aircraft as we learn more about their creators, uses and backgrounds.
The other half of us wander around the museum with more time to closely look at every artifact, plane, and craft. There are odds and ends displayed from all throughout aviation history, ranging from the very first planes to recent aircrafts and everything in between. Most of us make a trip up to the observation tower, the very one that had enthralled us earlier, and if we are patient enough, we witness a plane takeoff from the nearby airport. We find a small Cessna 152 Aerobat that some of us take the chance to sit in.
After our explorations, we load the bus, our necks tired from craning upward at the numerous flying crafts, each with their own stories.
Looking back through the doors as they close, we take a last look at the airplanes hanging in the distance, elbowing the friend closest, giving a little known fact about one particular craft. As we sit on the bus, we recount the day. Each of us describes a different part: a different airplane, spacecraft, or activity. We laugh about the amount of pictures we took and the fun we had in one day, in a building with airplanes and spaceships. “We must be MVGS students,” we chuckle.