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Julie Williams Gives Electronic Student Presentation on the Wright Brothers

Orville and Wilbur would have approved, no doubt, of the technology that permitted Samford University professor Julie Williams, author of Wings of Opportunity: The Wright Brothers in Montgomery, Alabama 1910, recently published by NewSouth Books, to visit remotely with students at Shiloh Point Elementary School. In a video conference with the school’s fifth graders, set up by Horizons Program Teacher Elizabeth Stevens on February 4, it was almost as if Williams was present in Cumming, Georgia, that day.

Dr. Williams shared with students the story of the nation’s first civilian flight school, founded by Orville and Wilbur Wright in Montgomery, Alabama, a lesser-known chapter in aviation history. The journalism professor was delighted to receive a bit of instruction from her students as well, who informed her that Orville Wright had invented a calculating machine, a precursor of the modern calculator, in 1895, a fact they had uncovered while researching the Wrights on The Wilbur and Orville Wright Timeline, 1867-1948. Obviously the students had done their homework and were well-prepared to participate in the video conference, a technological development the forward-thinking Wrights would no doubt have appreciated.

Wings of Opportunity is available from NewSouth Books,, or your favorite retail or online bookseller.