Educational landing: Helicopter lands at Homer Brink (with photos)

By Erika Mahoney

October 28, 2013 Updated Oct 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM EST

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Monday means it's back to the books for students.

But for the 700 kids at Homer Brink Elementary, their learning reached new heights today.

Lockheed Martin's K-MAX helicopter made a special landing on the soccer field.

As the chopper swooped down, the excited screams of the students could be heard, even over the helicopter's dual rotors.

"My mind got blown," fourth grader Troy Geetter said. "I saw a helicopter land. And I just think I'm going to fly a helicopter when I grow up."

The K-MAX is currently deployed in Afghanistan. The 5,000 pound aircraft helps deliver supplies to soldiers.

The educational landing served to take off imaginations.

"Science is one of my favorite subjects, and it makes me want to learn more about it," fourth grader Sarah Steflik said. "And it makes me want to learn more about engineering and technology."

Students spent the day learning about flight alongside Lockheed Martin, a local defense contractor, professionals.

"It's fun because I'm building stuff with my friends, and we are doing lots of teamwork, so we're building airplanes," fourth grader Elijah Brown Kendrick said.

The spotlight was on STEM education, or science, technology, engineering and math education.

"This is really part of a broader effort that Lockheed is really establishing right now," said Ron Crawford, Lockheed Martin Manager of Engineering Development. "We're trying to kick off what we are calling a STEM hub, which is really to try and encourage collaboration between academics, industry in the area."

Homer Brink Elementary Principal Bill Durdon says he is excited about working with Lockheed in the future.

"To have someone like Lockheed Martin so close by, growing a relationship is key for us," Durdon said. "Hopefully it gets some kids to get into that line of work as they get excited about science and then hopefully go to school and stay around here."

Durdon says he plans to have the helicopter make another special landing next year.

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