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The Gift of Education


Parents, if you want your children to learn new skills and prepare for their future career, turn them on to model aircraft. Playing with models is a good way to start learning new things. Many accomplished individuals in the field of aviation got their start by playing with model planes.

The best organization to join and learn about model aircraft is the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). There are clubs throughout the United States, and probably one not far from where you live. A club is a great place to watch model airplanes fly, network with a community of passionate and experienced model pilots and learn how to fly models yourself.

If your child is in diapers, it is too early to gift them with a remote-control model airplane, but it is not too early to introduce them to new things (like things related to flight). You can start by simply reading books aloud to them. A good practice is to read to a child for just 15 minutes each day. Reading to children can begin as soon as they are born—or once they allow you to sleep through the night. There are many great books about airplanes, helicopters, jets, airports, hot air balloons, and rockets, just waiting to be read.

In addition, there are ways to turn anything into a teachable moment. For example, over the next several days, you might find yourself having conversations with young children about Santa Claus, Santa’s sleigh, and reindeer.

When a child asks how Santa’s reindeer fly, you can tell them that you are pretty sure they do not use the Bernoulli Principle. This is true because reindeer have no wings with which to create the air pressure required to result in the proper lift to get them off the ground. There are several easy lessons that can help teach the Bernoulli Principle on the web.

Since I am talking about Christmas, this is a great time to help kids learn about the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). NORAD is a joint effort between Canada and the United States to watch the skies over North America and keep everyone safe. Any young person who is interested in Santa, flight, or the military could do well to learn about NORAD.

Since NORAD tracks any aircraft that passes over North America, you can be sure that the staff is busy on Christmas Eve. In fact, NORAD has been updating people on the precise location of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve for more than 60 years. Join in the fun by keeping tabs on Santa when he starts delivering gifts at

Have fun, learn a lot, and Merry Christmas to all!