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EAA Museum highlighting "Women in Aerospace" exhibit created by Girl Scout

Posted at 6:57 PM, Mar 06, 2024

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — EAA Museum is showcasing the fearless female aviators that paved the way for future women to take flight.

  • Elise Palecek, an Oshkosh native and Girl Scout, created an exhibit for the EAA Museum during her senior year of high school
  • EAA continues to highlight female trailblazers throughout aviation history

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

“We have over 150 aircraft in our collection," says EAA Museum collection curator Amelia Anderson.

But the museum wanted to bring some of that history to the forefront.

"EAA has a lot of members and we do have a lot of women members," says Anderson. "I think women's representation in aviation is becoming more and more visible and I think the next frontier of that is aerospace."

Anderson says this "Women in Aerospace" display was the idea of Elise Palecek, an Oshkosh native and regular vistor, who realized something was missing.

“Now [Elise] is a freshman at the the University of Minnesota," says Anderson. "She wanted to do something aerospace related for her Girl Scout Gold Award and decided to focus on the representation of women in our museum.”

Palacek's work has been an inspiration. It has also drawn more attention to the EAA's WASP exhibit, which stands for “Women Airforce Service Pilots."

"They were the ones that really had to fight through all the negativity" says EAA Director of Communications Dick Knapinski. "All the objections to able to do what they already could do, and that’s fly aircraft.”

As for what women mean to aviation overall?”

“These women were pioneers…trailblazers in their own way," Knapinski remarked. "Whether it was in the space program or during World War II, the other thing we really want to apply is...well, so many times, girls and women think 'well that’s something that I can’t reach. There are sciences involved. It's nothing that really I can do.' It's out there. Those openings are there."

These exhibits aren't the only thing EAA has in store this month. As part of its ongoing Women’s History Month efforts, EAA will host its annual “Girls on the Fly” event on Saturday, April 6th, where 6th-12th grade girls will have the chance to channel their inner aviator.