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What's Up at the Air Zoo?

(besides aircraft and space artifacts)

We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing
nstatler@airzoo.org  |  269.350.2811

Category: Women in Air and Space

Astronaut Christina Koch

As we curate and install a beautiful new space-themed wallpaper and welcome a cosmically cool traveling exhibit, Be the Astronaut (May 28 – September 12, 2021), we’ve got space adventure fever! The same could be said for Michigan-born Christina Koch (b. 1979), whose longings for space travel drove her to “be the astronaut.”     As a child, Christina loved things that made her feel small: the... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, May 31, 2021
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Asian American Aviatrix: Hazel Ying Lee

In the early 1930s, when Oregon-born Hazel Ying Lee (1912-1944) dreamed of becoming a pilot, her mother advised her, “It’s not ladylike to fly.” Hazel disagreed. To save money for flying lessons, she worked as a department store elevator operator—one of few jobs opened to Chinese women in America. The Portland Chinese Benevolent Society sponsored Hazel’s flying program and the young pilot took to the sky by age 19. A proud WASP during... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021
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The Wright Sister

When leaving their mark on aviation innovation heritage, the Wright brothers did not act alone. A woman helped make their legacy possible.  In 1909, World magazine called the Wright brothers’ younger sister, Katharine, “the American Girl Whom All Europe is Watching.” Katharine Wright served her brothers as a silent partner. Without asking for notoriety, Katharine assisted with experiments, kept her... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Mar 1, 2021
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Honoring Black History Month at the Air Zoo - Mae Jemison

Mae C. Jemison   Born in Decatur Alabama in 1956, Mae Jemison moved with her family to Chicago, Illinois at age 3. As a child, Mae loved to dance and could be found in her school library in the science section thumbing through books about astronomy. While she watched and took interest in the news and broadcasts surrounding NASA’s Apollo Space Program, Mae felt disappointed by the absence of women astronauts. Mae appreciated what she saw in the role... Read More
at Monday, Feb 1, 2021
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Honoring Black History Month at the Air Zoo - Willa Brown

Willa Brown   Willa Beatrice Brown (1906-1992) made history two years in a row as the first black woman in America to earn a pilot’s license in 1938, immediately followed by a commercial flight license in 1939. She also made history when she became the first black woman commissioned as a U.S. Civil Air Patrol lieutenant in Illinois. Her ambitions also led Willa to run for office, which made her the first black woman to run for United States... Read More
at Monday, Feb 1, 2021
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Honoring Black History Month at the Air Zoo - Ida Van Smith

Ida Van Smith (1917-2003)  Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Ida Van Smith taught history and special education in New York City Public Schools after pursuing her undergraduate degree from Shaw University and her master’s degree from Queens College.   In 1967, Ida made a dream come true at age 50 when she learned to fly! She applied her gift of teaching skills to aviation when she earned both her private pilot’s license and instructor... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Monday, Feb 1, 2021
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Seeing Stars!

At the Air Zoo, we talk a lot about heavenly bodies and stars, and this story is no different—except that these stars could be found on the silver screen! Movie stars played vital roles during World War II (1939-1945), such as starring in films which gave Americans a glimpse into the war or just the opposite—took their minds off it for a little while. Some stars helped promote desired wartime behavior, such as proper safety precautions for defense plant workers. After... Read More
Posted by Nikki Statler at Wednesday, Dec 30, 2020
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