In 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps began a military "experiment" to see if Negroes could be trained as combat pilots and support personnel. The first to be trained in support of this operations were the mechanics who began their training in March 1941 at Chanute Field, near Rantoul, Illinois. On July 19, 1941, twelve aviaition cadets and one student officer reported to Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to begin primary flight training as the first African American pilot candidates in the U.S. Army.
This lesson plan will allow students to understand the path that led to the Wrights' success on December 17, 1903 by relating the stories of their interest in flying from youth, the growing interest in flight in the late 1890s and the flight experiments that led to their first flights in 1903. The story of their dream to fly will be used as a backdrop for students to solve relevant mathematical problems and connect with Wright Brothers National Memorial.
This lesson could be used in American history, social studies, and geography courses in units on technological and scientific advances at the turn of the 20th century, aviation history, or great inventors. It also could be used in a unit commemorating the anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight on December 17, 1903.