On 9/11, Trip to Air Show Will Expose Youth to Service, Science and Technology

Release Date: September 9, 2011


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- About 20 students from Buffalo Public Schools will be attending an air show at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station this Sunday as part of a University at Buffalo outreach program that uses aviation to illustrate the wonders of science and technology.

The aim of the trip is to get students excited about aviation science and technology. The show, which takes place on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, will also help students gain an appreciation for the country's servicemen and servicewomen, said John Cerne, an associate professor of physics at UB who helped plan the outreach activity.

Media are invited to join the students at the grounds of the Thunder of Niagara Air Show at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11. To make arrangements to meet the group, media can contact Cerne at 716-983-9278.

Cerne organized the visit with the UB Graduate School of Education's Liberty Partnerships program, which provides local students with academic and college preparation support.

The students who will be attending are Liberty Partnerships students from East High School and the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, which serves grade 5 to 12.

Funding for the trip comes from a National Science Foundation grant that Cerne and his colleagues received for research and education. As part of the award's outreach component, Cerne plans to start a radio-controlled flying club at East High School that emphasizes how basic physics and advanced technology combine to make radio-controlled flight possible.

The goal of the air show is similar. Cerne hopes that seeing planes in motion will spark curiosity in students about how they work.

"Our main goal is to get them excited about science and technology, and about what's out there in the world, about what's possible," he said. "Many of these students have probably not ever had the opportunity to attend an air show. It will be great to expose them to something completely different from anything they've ever seen."

"It can be challenging to make learning fun, so I thought this was an excellent opportunity to do that," said Ramone Alexander, project director for Liberty Partnerships. "It's a way to engage students with a real-life example of what the possibilities are in science."

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu is a former staff writer in University Communications. To contact UB's media relations staff, email ub-news@buffalo.edu or visit our list of current university media contacts.