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The Fort Vancouver National Trust has been awarded a grant from the Vancouver Energy Community Fund, a charitable fund at the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, in the amount of $5,019.

The funds will be dedicated to the Pearson Field Education Center’s STEM-based aviation education programs, which introduce students and the public to potential careers in aviation through a curriculum steeped in the rich history of Pearson Field. Specifically, the grant will be used to purchase model airplane and toolbox kits for teaching students metalwork and riveting skills needed to build a full-sized kit airplane.

In March, 2016, the Pearson Field Education Center received a generous donation of a partially assembled Zenith 701CH kit airplane. Youth aged 12-20 years old who are interested in acquiring the skills to assemble an airplane will be invited to participate in completing the project.

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The Pearson Field Education Center (PFEC) is proud to announce that Mr. Marlin Martin is the recipient of this year's Volunteer of the Year award.  PFEC's mission is to educate and inspire youth in the Pacific Northwest about the golden age of aviation. Marlin's incredible commitment to delivering quality STEM-based educational programs helped us reach our educational goals in 2014.

Marlin began his journey in education in 1963 when he received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at La Verne College in California. It was also in 1963 that Marlin's passion for aviation began when he took his first flight in a Cessna 140, and then soloed in a Cessna 150 out of Ontario Airport, CA.

He then went on to Long Beach State to earn his teaching credentials, and began as a teacher for nine years in La Puente, CA. He pursued teaching at Rowland Heights High School for 12 years in the areas of Physics and Chemistry before moving to Washougal, WA where he continued teaching high school students in Portland, OR at Lincoln High School.

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The Fort Vancouver National Trust’s Pearson Field Education Center has been presented with the NW Spirit of Aviation Airport Award from the Washington Aviation Association (WAA).

As described in the WAA 2014 NW Aviation Conference & Trade Show Program, “The Northwest Spirit of Aviation Awards are hosted by the Washington Aviation Association. These awards were initiated to highlight and honor individuals and local businesses who have displayed extraordinary passion and commitment to the aviation industry.”

After moving out of the Pearson Air Museum in February 2013, Aviation Education Center Director Laureano Mier moved the Trust’s Aviation Education programs to a storage hangar on Pearson Field that would later be named the Pearson Field Education Center (PFEC). After moving, Mier and his dedicated team of volunteers put many hours of hard work into replicating the educational environment that once lived in the museum.

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r-holcomb-3323The Pearson Field Education Center (PFEC) is proud to announce that Kjer (middle) and Kaya (left) Galbraith have been selected by their PFEC peers to be the 2013 Volunteers of the Year. The incredible amount of talent, integrity, humility, dedication to duty, and loyalty that exists in the Pearson Field Education Center’s group of volunteers makes this annual honor very challenging. In spite of these considerations, it was unanimously decided to honor these two inspiring individuals. This is the first time in the history of selecting a Volunteer of the Year that two volunteers have been selected instead of just one.

Kaya and Kjer each bring separate outstanding qualities to our team that made this selection obvious. They have worked, together and separately, in many different areas of our operation. They are always present at our popular summer aviation camps, Open Cockpit days, EAA Young Eagles programs, Aviation Fairs and our lecture series. Additionally, they have volunteered at the Festival of Trees, Christmas at Pearson, Celebrate Pearson Field Day, and have never been afraid to roll up their sleeves and ensure that our aircraft, collection, and artifacts are clean and ready for viewing by the public.

Kaya is currently involved in the Teen Flight project for Airway Science for Kids program that is building a Van’s Aircraft RV-12, and Kjer is currently enrolled at Clark College in the Running Start program, and has graduated June 2013 from Seattle Museum of Flight’s Washington Aerospace Scholars program as a team leader. Both are bilingual in English and German, CPR certified, proficient in our flight computer operations, and have mastered the American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with our deaf visitors. They also have the distinction of receiving a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to their community by Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler.

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It is estimated that in the next 15 – 24 months there will be a need for up to 22,500 workers in aviation and aerospace field. This number reflects the first wave of retirees in the aviation industry that totals 82,500. It is essential that we have trained people to fill these aviation-based positions. The Fort Vancouver National Trust is aspiring to fill this need by offering aviation summer camp sessions at Pearson Field for ages 8 through 17. The fast-paced aviation camp is held in one-week sessions that teach students all about the world of aviation and flight.

The curriculum will include the basics of aeronautics, which encompasses the four forces of flight, the three axes of flight, and Bernoulli’s principle. Students will spend time learning to fly using interactive flight simulator computers and programming. This will prepare them for the opportunity to try co-piloting and maneuvering a real airplane. In addition, students will be introduced to aero-modeling and will learn the skills necessary to build and take home proven flyers. Field trips include visits to an Academy of Model Aeronautics sanctioned field where they will fly radio-control airplanes, via the buddy-box system, with certified flight instructors. New to this year is a segment on model rocketry where students will build and launch a rocket.

The Trust’s new Pearson Field Education Center, at the epicenter of air operations on Pearson Field, is especially geared to teach aviation. This integrated environment comes complete with airplanes, aero-modeling tables, projection screen and aero-flight simulators. The instructors have real world experience in the fields of teaching and aviation and will prepare students for the world of flight.

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