National Guard Landing At Ames School On Last Day of Class

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AMES, Iowa-The last day of school in 2017 was memorable for students at Kate Mitchell Elementary in Ames.

An Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter touched down at the school on a bright and sunny last day of class.

The visit was made due to Pilot Capt. Jim Funk’s working to mentor a student Shawn Allen, at the school. The visit was to discuss STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, to encourage students in how these subjects could lead to a career.

"I told Shawn if he was good, I'd swing by and see him on the last day," said Funk.

Funk said that of the STEM subjects, technology was the most important, as the flight crew flies the helicopter with a computer doing the actual piloting. So it is important, he said to be able to program the flight using computers.

“Science, technology, engineering, and math are really important,” said Funk. “Especially when they grow up go to college,or get jobs after college, so I wanted to tell them a little about being a pilot and what the STEM program offers.”

“It has a lot of buttons and there’s a lot of technology in it,” said Kindergarten student Nora Long.

Funk said he enjoys mentoring a student at Kate Mitchell.

“We have several mentors here at Kate Mitchel,” said Justin Jeffs, who is the Principal at the school. “ They come on a weekly basis they work with the kids they have lunch with the kids.”

The flight crew said they are not able to make many landings to talk to school kids. That requires several levels of permission from the government, and the local school officials. The also notified the neighborhood a loud helicopter would be in the area.