This week we focused on some DARING women in history. With the invention of the Wright Brothers' Flying Machine, there came some females that dared to follow their intrigue with airplanes, and learned how to fly!
We learned about the "third Wright Brother", Katharine Wright (their sister) who supported her brothers' creativity all the way. She was history's first female airplane passenger. (She used a rope to tie her skirt around her legs, so it would stay put during the flight)
Then came Harriet Quimby- the first female pilot. She dared to abandon her skirt and trade it in for a purple silk knickerbocker outfit. She was the first female to fly across the English Channel. (Would have been front-page news, if the Titanic had not sunk the day before). Harriet learned the hard way why a SEATBELT would have been an important piece of equipment when she fell to her death.
My favorite female pilot was Bessie Coleman- the first black woman to obtain a pilots license. Since flight schools in the US banned her from enrolling (due to her race) she overcame this obstacle by going to France for her pilots license. There, she was taught stunt-flying. Loop-de-loops and barnstorming were a big hit with audiences. Bessie was in high demand, but she would only perform if the crowds were de-segregated. Her dream of opening up a flight school for African Americans was cut short when a mechanics tool slid into the controls, jammed them, and the plane crashed.
(Avery made me chuckle when she commented "The lesson for the female pilots is: never let a MAN ride in the plane with you"!) ha!
We finished our discussion with the Powder Puff Derby airplane race of 1937. A transcontinental race where women pilots were pitted against men to prove once and for all that "women are incompetent flyers". Of course, a female named Louise Thayer won the race, and held altitude, distance and speed records.
Next, we tried our hand at becoming paper airplane pilots. Trinity made a very fun spiral flying object, and the rest of us folded the "Harrier" jet that claims to be the best flier ever. We took our planes to the parking lot where we practiced launching. I believe Zane to be our most skilled paper airplane pilot. His plane consistently flew the longest distance. Elliot used his engineering mind to tweak the folds a bit to create a plane that does barrel rolls! Tyler ended up re-folding his plane so that it flew like a dart. I was super-impressed with all in our Daring Club- creativity and problem solving was evident as they came up with their own versions of a paper airplane. fun!
Sent from Windows Mail