The plane’s the thing

Saturday we went to the Girl Scout council’s annual STEM Expo. It was little different this year. Usually it’s in an exhibit hall with lots of vendors from businesses, school, non-profits and others with a variety of information and activities relating to anything having to do with STEM subjects, indoors and out. This year they moved it to the Delta Flight Museum by the airport and it was mainly just a badge workshop. There are new robotics badges for each of the six levels of Girl Scouts and there were stations to do the various activities. Katy only did two of the five as she had already done four of the five badge requirements. There were a few other activities — remote controlled soccer and golf and optibots. If you aren’t familiar with optibots, they are pretty neat. And of course lots of airplanes to look at.

This really neat airplane car was outside.

And the bulding posts were airplane landing gear and tires.

One of the badge requirements was to build a robot and they had the girls working in twos and threes. They had kits that were more simple machines than robots but Katy and two other girls (whose names I didn’t get) worked on one together.

Katy tried her hand at the robot golf, too. She’s holding a little device with the program to control the ball.

There was an upper walkway to go look inside the plane and you could look down and see all the girls and what was going on.

The biggest part of it was just looking around the museum.

When cows fly

I found out Delta didn’t start flying to Asia until 1987.

They had a 767 plane in the middle of the museum and you could walk through it. They left a few seats in but mostly emptied it out for displays.

Heath stretching his legs in first class.

Cabin seats then and now. The old seats look like child bicycle carriers. The new seat is clearly first class.


The galley

The cockpit

When Pan Am went out of business Delta acquired quite a bit of the company so they had some Pan Am items on display, too. There were a lot of museum employees stationed around to answer questions and help out. I talked to one woman who said she worked for Pan Am in their main office in New York City and really liked it. I told her we did lots of traveling on Pan Am in the 70s. I asked her if she watched the TV show that was on a few years ago, she said no but she’d heard about it.

I’m not sure why they had a hot air balloon basket, but they did. The case next to it is the balloon. Just add hot air!

The expo was held in three sessions and they said each session was going to focus on specific Girl Scout levels and the 3:30 session would have activities geared to the middle and high school girls. Well, I think the only difference was they had a career panel. We went and listened to that. There were three women who talked a little about what they do and took questions. One of the women got degrees (I’m not sure how many) in mechanical engineering and then went to law school. She’s a patent lawyer and wrote the patents for the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. Anyway, she said the lawmakers who write the laws involving science don’t usually have any science background so she said it’s important for scientists to get involved in the law-making process through education and lobbying. Back when Katy wanted to go into environmental engineering I told her she should go to law school and write the laws that affect the environment. She didn’t think much of the idea.

R2-D2 and BB8 were there.

Upstairs there was a long hallway between the staircase and the entrance to the plane. There were some small round tables with cards and stickers on them but I didn’t think much of it. Turns out that was the Career Corridor. We went up with Katy later. There were only people at two of the five tables when we decided to stop. The first person was really interesting. She was an ecologist and I asked her what she did. She said she started out working for the National Parks Service. Now she works to make sure that threatened animals and ecosystems aren’t damaged when roads are put in. In between she did something with marine life. I wish she had been on the career panel. The other lady we talked to was an engineer.

There was a long hall full of model airplanes.

Katy and Heath looking at a plane.

Looking at the airplanes was interesting but otherwise the whole activity was kind of disappointing. Katy was really looking forward to the vendors and then there weren’t any except Zoo Atlanta with a few animal things to look at. And then the activities were far too easy and she’d already earned the badge with activities she’d done over the summer, anyway.

Heath had the most fun, he really liked looking at all the planes and talking with the museum employees. Because the museum was closed to the public for this event the big 747 out in the parking lot was closed so we couldn’t go inside that. The gift shop was closed, too. I thought that was kind of dumb since they could have been making money. But on the other hand, Heath and Katy couldn’t spend any money!

There was a last-minute change in date and venue for the event so I’m wondering if they just had do what they could at the last minute.







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