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Edwards AFB hosts first-ever hybrid air show

  • Published
  • By Giancarlo Casem
  • 412th Test Wing

The 412th Test Wing held its first air show in more than 10 years at Edwards Air Force Base California, Oct. 9 and 10.

Dubbed the “Aerospace Valley Air Show 2020,” the event was the first of its kind, so-called “hybrid” air show. The base featured interactive 360-degree photo showcases of the various aircraft assigned to the base. The base also conducted a parade of aircraft in the skies over the local community including Antelope Valley, Bakersfield, the Victor Valley, Barstow and Fort Irwin.

“We’re agile, we’re innovative by nature,” said Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer, 412th Test Wing and Edwards Air Force Base Commander. “Our organizations are dynamic and this air show is just another example of how we pivoted when our nation needed us to and led the way.”

The air show was originally conceived to be a standard air show. However, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the social-gathering guidelines that arose from it, show organizers retooled and reorganized the event to allow for virtual showcases and flyovers. The pivot also allowed organizers to put Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education at the forefront of the event.

“The best part about this hybrid solution is it allowed us to do an entire week of STEM, all of that’s been recorded. We had STEM for elementary school, middle school, bilingual (students),” said Command Chief Master Sgt. Ian Eishen, 412th TW Command Master Chief. “We had NASA and our test pilots and engineers; experts in their field that were able to actually bring students through curriculum learning physics, engineering, aerodynamics; and those things are still going to be available for anybody who wants to use them as part of their online curriculum at home.”

The first four days of the air show week featured online classes which featured hands-on experiments, lectures and personal testimonials from subject-matter experts who utilize STEM every day at the Aerospace Valley.

More than 7,000 students and educators had signed up prior to the start of the STEM expo, with numbers rising after the first day.

Edwards AFB has a legacy of firsts in aviation such as the first supersonic flight and the first space shuttle landing, now it can add the first-ever hybrid air show to its history books.

“This hybrid air show is just one more example of what we’ve done here despite what we’ve all gone through in the last six to eight months,” Higer said. “This is a special place; the air we breathe, the dirt we walk on has so much history and so much potential.”

Aerospace Valley Air Show Coverage Day 1, part 1

Aerospace Valley Air Show Coverage Day 1, Part 2

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.