CU-Boulder Aerospace Faculty To Share Interest In Flight With Next Generation Of Tuskegee Airmen-And Women

February 7, 2007

Aerospace engineering faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder will share their love of flight with the next generation of Tuskegee Airmen -- and women -- on Saturday, Feb. 10, as they showcase their advanced research in aviation and spaceflight to 30 Denver-area high school students who share their passion for flight.

The teenage members of the Tuskegee Airmen's Mile High Flight Club will visit the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU-Boulder for a morning of demonstrations and hands-on activities. After testing their skills designing and building capsules with Legos (to try to protect a light bulb when tossed from a second-story balcony), the young pilots-in-training will hear tips on "How to Become a Rocket Scientist" from several CU-Boulder professors in the department of aerospace engineering sciences.

All events will be held in the Discovery Learning Center, located at Regent Drive and Colorado Avenue.

"These students have wonderful mentors and role models in the Tuskegee Airmen Aviation Program, who are helping them to understand how to fly airplanes," said Associate Professor Brian Argrow of aerospace engineering. "We want to help them understand how aerospace engineers develop the technologies that make aircraft and spacecraft work in the predictable and safe ways they, as pilots-in-training, have learned to expect.

"We also want to excite them with the challenges of future systems that are the focus of our research, such as unmanned aircraft, large space structures, and space habitats -- future systems that they might operate, design or inhabit."

The students, who are primarily African American, also will learn about the CU-Boulder campus and the opportunities available to minority students, including scholarships and support through the Multicultural Engineering Program.

The Tuskegee Airmen was the popular name for a group of African American pilots who flew with distinction during World War II. All of the group's members were required to be college-educated, and the group never lost a single member during its tours of duty.

The Mile High Flight Club is a chapter of Tuskegee Airmen International, a service organization that promotes aviation and aerospace to those who might not otherwise have the opportunity.

Saturday's event is sponsored by the department of aerospace engineering sciences, the Colorado Space Grant Consortium and the Multicultural Engineering Program.

The schedule of events for Saturday, Feb. 10, includes:

o 9 a.m. Human Spaceflight Presentation

o 9:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. Lego Capsule Challenge

o 11 a.m. - noon, How to Become a Rocket Scientist