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Kids craft planes at Cradle of Aviation Museum to celebrate first flight

Wesley Baccay, 10, of upstate Chappaqua, flies a

Wesley Baccay, 10, of upstate Chappaqua, flies a miniature replica of the Wright Brothers' plane made of popsicle sticks and a clothespin at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. (Dec. 30, 2013) Credit: Tara Conry

Wesley Baccay watched Monday as the little plane he launched into the air glided a few feet and landed close to a target on the floor of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.

The aircraft, made from Popsicle sticks and a clothespin, was modeled after the one Orville and Wilbur Wright used on Dec. 17, 1903, when they piloted the first successful human flight.

Baccay, 10, of upstate Chappaqua, was one of nearly 300 kids so far to participate in a the plane building program started Dec. 23 to help celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, said Katherine Bingham, the museum’s education coordinator. The planes can be used as toys or turned into refrigerator magnets.

The program will run through Jan. 1.

“It’s nice to celebrate a milestone,” Bingham said. “After the Wright Brothers’ flight, aviation really came to Long Island.”

The program, which is included in the price of admission to the museum, also teaches kids the principles of flying using everyday tools such as a hair dryer. While they wait for the glue to dry on their projects, families are also encouraged to explore the museum’s interactive displays and even go inside a life-size replica of the original Wright Brother’s cockpit.

While watching her son, Justin, 5, marvel at a display on hot air balloons, Sue Spera, 45, of Mineola, said she often takes her family to the museum, especially when the kids are off from school.

“It’s a nice way for them to play and learn at the same time,” she said.

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