Hey! STEM Students Everywhere! Look At The Past & Keep Your Future Flying!

RE@L logo_Corp_color_RGB-high-REZPaulGOne of our RE@L colleagues, CEO Paul Gullickson, lives near the Fagen Engineering, Inc. in Granite Falls, MN. Paul alerted us to a very interesting locally-made video about Fagen’s efforts to build a WW2 Air Museum to honor those who fought for our freedom, and to rebuild many of the very famous WW2 aircraft that were bravely used by those pilots 75 years ago. All of it was done right in his own backyard. 

Click the graphic to the right for more information on Fagen’s international engineering business Fagen

Many WW2 vets still come to visit the museum to visit this testament to their own bravery and skills, and to the triumph of American engineering and industrial might that went into the war effort back then.

Museum1Click the graphic to the left to see the Fagen Museums containing many of the rebuilt, completely restored aircraft. See the array of aircraft, vehicles, murals, and the many stories told. It’s quite a panorama!

FagenVideoAdditionally, a local PBS TV station in western MN did a primetime special on the Fagen Museum that’s well worth watching, too. Click the graphic of the airplanes at the right to view the video.

STEM2We at RE@L applaud their efforts to tell these powerful stories, and hope to help expand their message to include the recent national initiatives to bring STEM into American classrooms everywhere.  We at REAL have blogged frequently on the importance of both girls and boys taking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses in middle and high school so they can consider and be prepared for the many, exciting careers in this area.

RE@L is strongly committed to STEM for both our young women and young men. No, we didn’t have STEM in our schools back in WW2, but we did have many young men who graduated from high school, having taken mathematics and science. Their can-do attitude and skills helped change the world and brought us peace with their skills, bravery and efforts.

It has been stated that the US held a significant advantage over their enemies, as virtually every young soldier already knew how to drive a car or a truck. They took quickly to learning to fly military aircraft too. They were motivated learners, and quick to master more complicated technical equipment.

RosieRiveterOur women then were also capable and ready-to-learn students, operating complex machinery in the many war plants, as young men everywhere were being drafted to serve and fight for their country. Women’s contributions were greatly significant. They were a significant part of our war effort, building thousands of aircraft and other military equipment. Note the famous graphic on the left from those days, known as “Rosie The Riveter.”

WACPilotMany women proved to be excellent pilots too, ferrying fighter and bomber aircraft from the US to England and the Pacific. It wasn’t a case of “anything you can do I can do better.” But it did show that women could do many things as well as men, including learning complex technologies and engineering.

While students back in those years didn’t have STEM courses as we know them today, women and men each possessed a talent and a desire to learn math, science and technology on their skilled engineering jobs. The skills they learned often led to good jobs after the war was ended.

Students today still have that ability and an even better opportunity to learn these skills. We remain very proud of our young students today, particularly young women who commit to learn new and demanding STEM skills, including ones requiring science and math in middle and high schools.


No, it’s no longer “Rosie the Riveter” out there making our technology advances. Now, it’s our young “Rosie the Robot-Maker.” There are now as many, new STEM job opportunities out there as there are names of the girls and boys, men and women who are learning the needed skills to build a better world.

There’s great career opportunities for all!

So, girls, boys, parents and teachers, learn more about STEM. It could be your future.

The world has never needed it more.

Email your comments and questions to:  comments@realexperiencesatlife.com

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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.