Douglas County Sixth Grade Students Learn About Minden-Tahoe Airport

Posted By on May 16, 2017

by Melissa Blosser, Douglas County Community Relations · 2 min read

MINDEN, Nev. — Four hundred Douglas County middle school students toured Minden-Tahoe Airport last week.

Students had the opportunity to learn about how airplanes and airports work and how they might someday be involved in aviation. The organizers of the four day program calculated that more than 38 people volunteered some 350 hours in order to make this program a success.

The program was organized by the Sports Aviation Foundation (SAF) for the fourth year in a row. Sixth graders from Pau-Wa-Lu and Carson Valley Middle Schools, as well as students from Pinon Hills Elementary, visited the airport May 9 and 12.

Volunteers from the Foundation, as well as others from the Civil Air Patrol, the Ninety-Nines, the Nevada Division of Forestry, Care flight, and SoaringNV introduced the middle schoolers to aircraft and their systems, demonstrated how instruments and rockets work, and learned about airport operations.

Beautiful weather greeted the middle schoolers three of four days during the airport tours as they climbed through helicopters, Civil Air Patrol search planes, and gliders from SoaringNV. They made baking soda rockets which climbed 20-30 feet into the air and learned how to participate in the Build-a-Plane program, during which they constructed a flying airplane. In addition to an excursion out of the classroom, they also learned life lessons that will serve them in the future even if they do not work in aviation.

“These were exciting, educational mornings at the airport despite some inclement weather the final day, “event organizer Kathy Bradford said.

The tour was organized into eight learning stations taught by experienced members of the aviation community, and the students were able to spend up to 15 minutes at each station. Interviews with the students revealed that slightly fewer than half of them had visited the airport previously, and around one-quarter of them had actually flown in an airplane. One Pau-Wa-Lu student told one of the volunteers that she hoped to be a pilot someday, to which she received an encouraging high five.

Courtesy photo provided by Douglas County Community Relations

SAF is a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation which was created five years ago to involve more youngsters in aviation, to encourage airport safety, to support the sponsorship of soaring contests and general aviation activities, and eventually to open an aviation history center on the east side of the airport, where soaring activities are focused.

Organizers extended an invitation to the students to return for future airport activities, including the September 23, 2017 Aviation Adventure and the October 7-8, 2017 Aviation Roundup, highlighting the Thunderbirds precision aviation team.

For more information about the Sports Aviation Foundation visit: