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Inspired by the First All-Female USAF Boeing E-3 Sentry Air Crew

March 16th, 2013 by Dad · 1 Comment

Rachel and Sarah had a wonderful opportunity yesterday to visit Tinker Air Force Base by Oklahoma City and tour a Boeing E-3 Sentry (AWACS) aircraft with the first all-female crew in the history of the US Air Force.

USAF Women in the E3 AWACS

The girls spent about ten minutes in the cockpit checking out the controls and asking questions of both female pilots and the female flight engineer.

Sarah & Rachel in the E3 AWACS

Then they learned all about the mission and roles of the air crew in the AWACS, which serves as the “eyes and ears” of the US national command authority worldwide. I’ve wanted my girls to get a better understanding of what officers and NCOs in the US Air Force do and what careers they could potentially have in the military, and yesterday was absolutely the PERFECT opportunity to help them do that! MANY thanks to my friend and classmate Vern Conaway, who let us know about this opportunity.

Oklahoma City’s Fox 25 News interviewed Rachel and Sarah during their tour and featured some of their comments in a video news segment which aired on March 15th.

Rachel recorded a 2.5 minute narrated slideshow, “Inspired by Women in the US Air Force,” using the app SonicPics on my iPhone, sharing some additional thoughts and reflections about the impact of this experience on her.

Thinking and planning for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers starts early! Many thanks to all the officers, NCOs, and civilian employees at Tinker AFB who made these experiences possible!

Inspired by USAF Women

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→ 1 CommentTags: littlesister · sister · trip

OM Team at Yukon (March 2013)

March 2nd, 2013 by Dad · No Comments

This is an audio recording of Sarah’s division 2 (6th – 8th grade) team OM performance on March 2, 2013, at Lakeview Elementary in Yukon.

OM Team

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This Video Will Make You Want to Go Into Space

February 18th, 2013 by Dad · No Comments

Watch this.

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.

→ No CommentsTags: science

Are Aliens Out There? Of Course!

February 17th, 2013 by Dad · 4 Comments

This afternoon I watched the TEDx talk, “Seth Shostak: ET is (probably) out there — get ready.” I totally agree with what Seth says about the statistical probability / near certainly of extra-terrestrial life and intelligence being “out there” in space. I also agree with his point that we need to focus on getting kids between age 8 and 11 both excited and interested in science, because ideas they encounter at that age can have a MAJOR impact on their life studies, interests, hobbies, profession, and “trajectory.” Check out the talk, it’s excellent. I told my 9 year old about this, and she watched it on my iPhone. Woo hoo for videos which encourage STEM interests!

→ 4 CommentsTags: littlesister · science · technology

Club Penguin Tweets to Rachel About Her Video

February 11th, 2013 by Dad · No Comments

I just showed Rachel this exciting Tweet from Club Penguin! She’s excited to create more!

Twitter _ clubpenguin: @wfryer What a great video! ...

If you didn’t see the video Rachel made over the weekend, check it out: “How to make an igloo in Club Penguin.”

→ No CommentsTags: games · littlesister

How to make an igloo in Club Penguin

February 9th, 2013 by Rachel · No Comments

I just made a 10 min. screencast today using Screenflow. It’s a ‘how to’ video for Club Penguin. It’s so cool!

→ No CommentsTags: games · littlesister · technology

Marie Curie

February 3rd, 2013 by Dad · No Comments

This is a book report Rachel wrote for Ms Moore’s 3rd grade class this year.

Marie Curie changed the world through science. Marie and her husband discovered two new elements, polonium and radium. Marie and two other scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1910, she isolated radium in the form of a metal. Marie won a second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry.

Some of her main struggles were that her husband was killed in an accident right after they won the prize. Marie’s main struggle was that people treated her differently because she was a woman.

Her accomplishments inspire me to work harder in science. She proves that women can be as good as men in science. One of my favorite quotes of hers is:

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think can be most useful.” -Marie Curie

Her research into radiation helped others discover the structure of the atom. Even though radiation is very dangerous, it helps save lives even today through X rays, cancer treatments, and creating electricity.

→ No CommentsTags: books · littlesister

A Tour of Club Penguin (February 2013)

February 3rd, 2013 by Dad · 1 Comment

In this screencast, 10 year old Rachel takes us on a guided tour of Club Penguin. I asked Rachel to do this because this morning, she shared how she had created an igloo to be like a funeral scene for a puffin in the game. The father of one of Rachel’s older sister’s friends died suddenly from a heart attack two weeks ago, and 3 of us attended the funeral last Saturday. Rachel didn’t attend, so I wasn’t sure if this “virtual encounter with death” was a way she was dealing with those feelings. It’s not clear to me that she is or was… She describes how she saw someone else doing this with their igloo, and she thought it was a clever way to get people to come to your igloo in Club Penguin where they can click “like” to show their approval.

This is an interesting dive into the the virtual world my youngest daughter plays in every week.

→ 1 CommentTags: games · littlesister · technology · youtube

A Personal Tour of the International Space Station

January 29th, 2013 by Dad · No Comments

This morning before school I shared the start of this video with Rachel, who is VERY interested in science, space, and all things NASA. It’s a 25 minute tour of the International Space Station by Sunita Williams, who was the commander of the station until this past November.

Rachel, YOU could be recording a tour like this from space in 15 or 20 years!

(I’m posting this here so Rachel can watch the rest of this after school or another day, and you can too!)

Hat tip to Mike Gras who shared this video on Facebook last night.

→ No CommentsTags: science

An Interview with Fred McPherson

January 21st, 2013 by Dad · No Comments

This Friday I’m going to share a presentation at TEDxOU in Norman, Oklahoma. I’m planning to talk about the importance of storychasing the voices of our families, and am going to tell a story (among others) about Fred McPherson. Fred was like a grandfather to me, and a father to my mom and uncle who also spent some wonderful summer months with him and his wife, Alice, in Itasca, Texas.

1977 - Alice, Trudy, Wesley and Fred

In October 2005, my parents interviewed Fred about his life. This is the 78 minute audio interview they recorded with Fred.


I am going to share a 92 second edited excerpt of that interview in my TEDx talk on Friday, which I’ve shared to SoundCloud using the title, “Remembering the Early Days of Radio.”

Rest in peace, beloved Fred. My how you’d be amazed to see how your family members are communicating now around the world.

1992 - USAFA Graduation with Alice and Fred

Alice and Fred McPherson's gravesite in Itasca, Texas


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If That’s How It Is

December 8th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Sarah gave two wonderful performances last night at the Poteet Theater in Oklahoma City last night for her winter vocal audition. Way to go Sarah!

Her vocal instructor and coach, Jay Prock, wisely scheduled a short vocal audition prior to the musical performance of “The Wizard of Oz.” as a result they had a nice audience for the recital!

→ No CommentsTags: sister · youtube

Alexander’s Cake Model of the Cell (narrated food)

December 2nd, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Alexander made a model of an animal cell for his 9th grade biology class this weekend. I asked him to take a photo of it, and (although he protested) he recorded a short AudioBoo describing his project and some of the cell parts. This media reflection is therefore an example of “narrated food,” as opposed to “narrated art.” :-)

Alexander's Cake Model of the Cell

→ No CommentsTags: brother · school · science

Plants versus Zombies

November 10th, 2012 by Rachel · No Comments

Plant versus Zombies is a game that you can download to your smart phone or iPhone. It is a very fun game! :-)


→ No CommentsTags: games · littlesister · technology

Essay on Roman Myths

November 5th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

This is an amazing essay Rachel wrote in class in September during their Rome unit in social studies. (CLICK TO VIEW LARGER VERSION)


→ No CommentsTags: littlesister · writing

Cooking Lobstah in Maine

October 27th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Some images and video from our wondering experiences cooking and eating LOBSTAH in Maine yesterday! I shot this with my iPhone5 and edited it using Pinnacle Studio for iPad. Many thanks to chef Jonathan!

→ No CommentsTags: cooking · travel

Ferry to Peaks Island, Maine

October 27th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Some video of our family trip yesterday taking the ferry from Portland, Maine, to Peaks Island and back. I shot this with my iPhone5 and edited it using Pinnacle Studio for iPad.

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Visual Poem: Hood River Sunrise

October 15th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Hood River Sunrise

Wesley Fryer, iPhone4

An amazing morning of clouds and light witnessed from Sakura Ridge B&B.


Sent from my iPhone

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My Favorite Person Essay

October 9th, 2012 by Sarah · 2 Comments

         Do you have that person in your life that makes you smile? That one lucky guy is my dad. I love him so much. He helps me with my homework. He loves to sing with me, and loves to cook with me. I love him and couldn’t imagine my life without him.


My dad is a teacher. He is very good at math, English, especially writing. Whenever I’m struggling with anything I can always go to him. Math isn’t my brightest subject. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but sometimes I need help. My father of all trades is always there to help.


Dads are usually like their sons right? Well my dad and I are very similar. We both love to sing. My favorite part about long car trips, is plugging in the phone and singing along to songs. We both share a love of music. Our dream is to play the guitar by the fire while singing familiar songs.


Cooking is a loved thing in my family. Everyone loves to eat. You can’t have food without chefs. That’s where my dad comes in. He’s the breakfast king. Anything you want he can make it! One of my favorites is homemade doughnuts and foil dinners,(or hobo dinners.) These are some of our family’s favorites. The best part is preparing together and bonding as a family.


From cooking, to singing, to helping me with my homework, my favorite person is definitely my dad!

→ 2 CommentsTags: dad · english · writing

Reflections on the Steve Jobs Biography

September 30th, 2012 by Dad · 1 Comment

Welcome to another podcast on Learning Signs, recorded & published with Mobile Podcaster and WordPress. This is a 40 minute conversation between Wesley and Shelly Fryer discussing the Biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.


→ 1 CommentTags: books · podcasts

Hello From Colorado Springs

September 27th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Welcome to another podcast on Learning Signs, recorded & published with Mobile Podcaster and WordPress. This is a quick podcast from Colorado Springs and the start of my 20th USAFA college reunion.


→ No CommentsTags: dad · travel

I Want to Be a Scientist

September 17th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Rachel recorded this last night, following several discussions we’ve been having over the past few weeks about science and becoming a scientist. Last spring I took Rachel to Chris Simon’s classroom at Independence Elementary School in Yukon Public Schools, and she was VERY impressed with the STEM lessons Mr. Simon does with his students. She specifically mentioned that in this short audio podcast.

Rachel has expressed interest in doing more “Talking Science” podcasts, so we’ll likely do that in the weeks ahead. This past August in Montana, Lucy Gray told me about the Maker’s Faire she attended in San Francisco with her kids and how WONDERFUL it was to experience that DIY culture filled with science and engineering projects. I’d love to bring Rachel and my other kids to a Maker’s Faire at some point. A couple of years ago Nathan Parrow (who I interviewed for a podcast on electric car conversions) was working on bringing a Maker’s Faire to Oklahoma City, which would be hosted by our Oklahoma Science Museum. It would be GREAT to have a local Maker’s Faire. Nathan also told me he was part of a group that was putting together a space in Norman for DIY / STEM projects. I’m not sure what the status of that initiative is either, but I’d love an update if you have info or a related link to share.

Young people start forming their identities about who they are and what they want to do EARLY in life! We can’t underestimate the importance of providing kids with MULTIPLE opportunities to experience how fun, engaging, and challenging science, technology, engineering and math work can be. This can’t wait till middle school, high school or college!

Last night William Chamberlain saw my Tweet about Rachel’s AudioBoo and initiated a conversation with Krissy Venosdale about Space Camp for Rachel. I’m going to look into those options. About five years ago our son, Alexander, attended a week-long day camp at the Cosmosophere in Hutchinson, Kansas. I’m going to look into camp opportunities there as well as at the Houston Space Center, which we visited in July 2011. I am SO thrilled Rachel is excited about science and STEM, and want to do whatever I can as a parent to further nurture these interests… whether or not her Oklahoma City Public Schools‘ elementary school provides these kind of learning experiences “formally” or not. Hopefully we’ll be able to host some kind of “Scratch Camp” for parents and kids at her school later this fall or next spring.

Touching a moon rock!

→ No CommentsTags: littlesister · podcasts · science

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

September 17th, 2012 by Sarah · 1 Comment

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I always like fall
you can eat juicy lobster
from Atlantic waters
and peppermint bark
and blueberries
and sea salt and vinegar chips
and lots of
and hot chocolate
and maple syrup
at the town square
and walk to
the bonfire
at the christmas
and go to Starbucks with
Zoë Sprankle
and sip carefully
and laugh constantly
all the time
not just when you hear a joke

Sarah Fryer

→ 1 CommentTags: english · poetry · sister · writing

3rd Grade Back to School Night

August 23rd, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Here are some photos from “Back to School Night” this evening at Quail Creek Elementary School in Oklahoma City Public Schools. Rachel recorded a short “Narrated Art” message with AudioBoo on my iPhone and described the first piece of artwork shown below.

Rachel's "Name Art"

Letter to Dad

Work Samples

Class Schedule

Cursive Practice

Timed Addition Test

Sentence Completion

Sentence Fragment Worksheet

More cursive practice

1st day of journaling

Writing Journal

2nd day journal

Journal entry about the Nile River

Sports Camp Learning this summer

If I Was a River Pilot

I volunteerted tonight to be the “class historian / photographer.” I’m thinking we might buy an older iPod Touch at a local pawn shop which can take photos, and then set it up to both post photos to a class blog as well as use it for narrated art recordings like Rachel made tonight.

Volunteer to be the Class Historian / Photographer

→ No CommentsTags: art · littlesister · school

Rachel Reports from Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone

July 28th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Rachel and I recorded this 68 second video at Grand Prismatic Spring with an iPad2 in Yellowstone National Park yesterday. It was windy as a thunderstorm approached!

Grand Prismatic Spring [PANO]

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Lunch at Mammoth Hot Springs

July 28th, 2012 by Dad · No Comments

Rachel and I recorded this 2.5 minute video, “Lunch at Mammoth Hot Springs,” today in Yellowstone National Park. Check out more photos from our wonderful two days in the world’s oldest national park in this Flickr collection.

Wes and Rachel at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park


Feet Out! (must be nap time)

Also see my post, “Boiling River: Best Kept Secret In Yellowstone National Park,” for another video and more photos.

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