Blue Sky Founder, Executive Director and donors Dr. Andre Katz and Bill Davidson are pictured with Blue Sky Scholarship recipients and interns during AirVenture 2017. The students met with Jim Thompson and donors to discuss their experience at the EAA Air Academy and AirVenture.
February 20 – 22, 2014
Four students from Skyline High School along with two teacher chaperones took an all expenses paid trip to Hollywood, CA. to attend a Tribute to Bob Hoover, compliments of Jim Thompson, founder of the Blue Sky Education Foundation, and the Foundation’s Executive Director, Dr. Lee J. Siudzinski. The Skyline students were joined by students from Raisbeck Aviation High School, Seattle, WA., Three Sisters High School, Sisters, OR, Winter Park High School, Orlando, FL, Experience Aviation, Miami, FL, Embry Riddle, Daytona, FL, Embry Riddle, Prescott, AZ, Embry Riddle Worldwide Campus, Kansas State University, and Purdue University.
For the three days and two nights of the trip, students and teachers stayed at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel where, on Thursday evening, they met and got to know students from the eight other U.S. high schools and universities that participated in the event.
Following a private Movie Star Homes/City tour of Beverly Hills after breakfast on Friday, students Jazmin Cruz, Raymond Ortiz, Steven Uribe, and Alec Villanueva, along with teachers Becky Barker and Larry Quave returned to the hotel for lunch and a round table discussion of aviation topics with Mr. Hoover and other aviation notables such as Gene Cernan, the last man on the moon, Herb Kelleher, co-founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, and Sully Sullenberger, the captain of US Airways Flight 1549 that made an emergency water landing in the Hudson River off Manhattan, New York City, in 2009.
That afternoon, the group departed for Paramount Studios for the premier showing of the film “Bob Hoover” in the company of 500 aviation greats, aviation enthusiasts, and motion picture celebrities, who, following a formal dinner, joined in a Tribute to Bob Hoover’s many and varied aviation accomplishments. With the three hosts previously mentioned along with former Administrator of the FAA, Randy Babbit, retired Air Force general and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot Gen. Lloyd “Fig” Newton, astronaut Jim Lovell, EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny, actor Harrison Ford, and others, the evening event was both educational as well as entertaining.
Robert A. “Bob” Hoover is often remembered as the smiling old man in the wide-brimmed straw hat who staged exciting aerial maneuvers and one-wfheel landings in his twin piston-engine Strike Commander business aircraft. Before he joined the flightshow circuit he was a U.S. Air Force pilot who flight tested such aircraft as the FJ “Fury”, F-86 Sabre, and the F-100 “Supersabre”. Personally knowing other famous aviators such as Orville Wright, Eddie Richkenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, James H. Doolittle, Jacqueline Cochran, Neil Armstrong, and Yuri Gagarin, it is no wonder that so many prominent modern aviators and aviation enthusiasts would want to honor Bob for his fifty plus years of aviation accomplishments.
After breakfast Saturday morning, the high school and university groups went to the California Science Center where they saw the space shuttle Endeavor: The California Story exhibit featured images and artifacts that related to the shuttle program. After touring the Science Center they returned to Dallas to share their experiences with fellow students.
October 24, 2013
The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) at their regularly scheduled board meeting on October 24, 2013 took action and approved the acceptance of the donation from the Blue Sky Educational Foundation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professional development and the Science of Flight resources Kit and Curriculum Guide for Imagine 2020 Elementary Schools valued at $150,000.00
The following Imagine 2020 Elementary Campuses will be involved:
- Joseph J. Rhoads
- Charles Rice
- Paul L. Dunbar
- Martin L. King
- Oran Roberts
- Gabe P. Allen
- C.F. Carr
- George W. Carver
- Lorenzo De Zavala
- Amelia Earhart
- Sidney Lanier
- Eladio R. Martinez
- Arcadia Park
- Stevens Park
A full day of professional development will be provided for all classrooms participating in this Aviation STEM learning program. The Blue Sky Educational Foundation is working in partnership with the Frontiers of Flight, who will be hosting this training on January 6, 2014. All classrooms participating in the Science of Flight curriculum will be provided an opportunity to experience an educational field trip at the Museum following the STEM units during the Spring 2014 semester.
Additional professional development opportunities will be provided for teachers, as well as hands-on science experiences for students.
The Blue Sky Educational Foundation is sponsored by Jim and Angela Thompson of Dallas, Texas.