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Chris Matthews and Justin Yun work on the layout of their exhibit

The past few months two Northside High School seniors, Chris Matthews and Justin Yun, have been working here at the Museum of Aviation. The students, whose time at the Museum fulfills their Professional Interest Exploration Humanities requirement, come in two times a week for around an hour and a half at a time. The exhibit they have been working on is entitled “Eagles in the Storm” and tells the story of the F-15 Eagle in Desert Storm (sidenote: the Northside High School mascot is, appropriately enough, an Eagle). The topic was chosen by the students, who have also completed research and initial installation of the exhibit.

Chris and Justin interviewing Thomas Dietz on Skype

As part of the research process for the exhibit, Chris and Justin interviewed Col (Ret.) Thomas Dietz. Dietz shot down three aircraft while flying the F-15C during Desert Storm. One of the aircraft that Dietz flew during the war, tail number 79-078, is now located here at the Museum. Dietz downed two MiG-21 Fishbed aircraft on February 6, 1991 while flying 078, which is located outside the Museums Fair Restoration Hangar and is used by the 402ndMaintenance Wing as a trainer.

Chris and Justin talk with Brian Kalmer, the 402nd Maintenance Wing Training Instructor for F-15C #79-078

Personally, it has been a great experience for me to work with Chris and Justin. The students have worked with a much abbreviated schedule to complete their exhibit. Since they are only at the Museum for a few hours twice a week during the school day, the students have only had about 40 hours to research the topic, identify and locate artifacts and install the exhibit. This is an incredibly compressed time frame for even an exhibit of this small-scale, but the students have done well and I am excited to see their finished product. This week will be the last here for the students, and will be used to complete the installation. Their humanities class will be visiting the Museum on May 16th and there will be a small ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the exhibit then. More updates to come!

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