Beaumont and JCU collaboration takes flight

Testing to see how far self-made airplanes can fly

Spacesuit. Check. Flight path. Check. Airplane. Check. Pre-flight conference with historical aviators. Check. That’s what Cleveland Municipal School students experienced this May during their visit to the International Women’s Air & Space Museum thanks to the efforts of new exhibits designed by students from Beaumont School and John Carroll University. The International Women’s Air & Space Museum ( is located at Cleveland’s Burke Lakefront Airport. Beaumont alumna, Toni Previte Mullee, '79, is the executive director.

John Carroll and Beaumont received a 3-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the W.I.S.E. Project (Working in Informal Science Education); the students are beginning the second year of the grant. Thirty Beaumont students and 15 John Carroll students are working cooperatively with their teachers and monitors from the National Science Foundation to create educational tools for the International Women’s Air & Space Museum. Last year the students met with consultants who mentored them about the science of aviation and flight, and the role of museums in informal science education. The students completed three exhibits that were on display in the museum in May; a permanent display, “living biographies”, and interactive activities for 300 kindergarten through 3rd grade children about Women on the Frontiers of Flight.

The W.I.S.E. Project’s goal is to encourage young people to pursue STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers through early, positive exposure to informal science education. Through the program interest in STEM-based careers is generated for three different age groups, university, high school and primary school students. "It is exciting to watch the girls’ concepts and ideas become reality,” remarks Gretchen Santo, Beaumont School’s science department chair and W.I.S.E. project facilitator. Margaret Supp Connell, principal of Beaumont School says preparing students for life after high school is an integral part of the educational process. “W.I.S.E. encourages innovative thought and discussion to reach a goal. Developing the art of collaboration is a real world skill that is essential in the 21st century marketplace.”

W.I.S.E. is a collaboration that ignites the spirit of adventure and warms the heart. The Beaumont and JCU students were able to encourage their young crew of Cleveland Municipal School students to reach for the stars, and be whatever they want to be, even pilots! For details, go to And, visit the International Women’s Air and Space Museum and take off!

Janice Brooks is the public relations and communications manager for Beaumont School.


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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 3:25 PM, 09.22.2008