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Aerospace educator honored for hands-on approachAerospace educator honored for hands-on approach

A third-grade teacher in Palmdale, California, known for her hands-on teaching style and nontraditional lessons has been named the 2017 Scott Crossfield Aerospace Educator of Year by the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Velvet Thomas, who teaches at Golden Poppy Elementary School, will receive her award Oct. 28 at the nonprofit National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Fifty-fifth Annual Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Thomas's non-traditional lessons have included taking students to watch the space shuttle re-enter the atmosphere and visit the Sage Planetarium. Thomas has also held take-off and landing simulations in class and even taught students the pilot's alphabet,” said a news release from the Dayton, Ohio-based National Aviation Hall of Fame.

Thomas was also praised for her efforts to bring her students in touch with guest speakers from NASA and other leading aerospace organizations.  

“Thomas embodies the Crossfield Award, and has inspired generations of students to dream about aviation as a career,” the announcement said.

The Crossfield award was founded in 1986 by National Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinee A. Scott Crossfield, the renowned engineer and test pilot, as a juried annual competition to recognize a K through 12 teacher for exemplary use of aerospace in the classroom.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame is the only congressionally chartered aviation hall of fame in the United States, and honors the industry leaders, pilots, aviators, engineers, scientists, astronauts, and inventors who have made American aerospace what it is today.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Fifty-fifth Annual Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony is open to the public by advance registration. Sponsorship opportunities and individual seats are still available, but a capacity crowd is expected. To make reservations or for more information, visit the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s website or call 937/256-0944, ext.19.

Topics: Aviation Education Programs, Youth

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