Counselors outfitted themselves as Star Wars characters Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rey while an R2-D2 robot entertained youths attending Expedition Galactic camp amid aircraft and helicopters at AOPA’s National Aviation Community Center.
A dozen scouts were transfixed near a Beechcraft Sierra as robotic tinkerer Pat Coajou’s familiar white, blue, and silver droid scooted and chirped across the hangar floor under its own power, its electric head clicking, whirring, and turning in circles. Interestingly, Coajou said R2-D2 is partly made from recycled aviation pieces including reading light housings from a British Vickers Viscount turboprop airliner.
Seven-year-olds Jacob Ashmore, Gabriel Gonzalez, and Ryan Hill battled with paper airplanes while other Cub Scouts took control of Redbird Jay flight simulators. The scouts and their more than 50 counselors and volunteers surrounded themselves with aviation in addition to traditional arts and crafts, archery, and good citizenship camp activities.
“Concentrating on STEM concepts at different stations allows us to focus on flight dynamics and propulsion,” said Fletcher as a pack of future engineers and aviators challenged him to a light saber battle in AOPA’s hangar.