Aviation Museum in Londonderry expands new educational programs

By APRIL GUILMET
Union Leader Correspondent
September 05. 2014 6:22PM
Jacob Sage, 4, of Derry, tried out the “Race to the Finish” flight simulator while attending the Sept. 5 “First Family Friday” at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

LONDONDERRY — An educational program for families and children is taking flight at the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire.

The museum, located at 27 Navigator Road, has become increasingly popular with the younger set in recent months, Executive Director Jessica Pappathan said this week.

Aviation Museum kids program Molly Watson, 3 1/2, of Derry, tried out the paper airplane she made during "First Family Friday" at the Aviation Museum of NH on Sept. 5. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

While a program for high school students is currently entering its third season, the Aviation Museum had few offerings for younger children until this past April.

Shortly after her hire, Pappathan and other museum staffers opened their doors to local kids during spring vacation week.

“We had such a great response we decided to make this a regular program,” she said.

On Friday, local children and their parents gathered in the museum classroom for “Family First Friday.” Geared towards children aged 10 and under, the hour-long program features aviation-themed stories, paper airplane-making and a museum scavenger hunt. At the conclusion of the program, each participating child is given his or her “wings” in the form of a small sticker.

About 10 children and their adult guardians attended Friday’s program, where Operations Director Wendell Berthelsen guided them in the process of building simple toy airplanes out of paper and drinking straws.

“They just love flying those airplanes,” Pappathan said, noting that previous attendees seemed particularly excited to bring their creations home with them.

Later, the children gathered around her on airplane-printed blankets for a reading of Elaine Barber’s “Billy’s First Flying Lesson.”

“Hopefully it will inspire them,” she said.

The fun will continue next month.

Museum administrator Paul Bagley said the Oct. 3 program will feature guest speaker and “skydiving diva” Cindy Lebsack. The program, which is free to members or included in the price of admission, will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Lebsack, an active member and officer in the Texas A&M Skydiving Club, represented her school at Collegiate Nationals for three years and earned medals in three different events.

“It will be kind of a show-and-tell event that will teach kids all about skydiving,” said Pappathan.

For more information visit www.aviationmuseumofnh.org.

AGuilmet@newstote.com


EducationNew HampshireTransportationLondonderry

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