Pearl Carter Scott

Marlow native Pearl Carter Scott (actress Elijah DeJesus) stands by her own airplane in the 1920s in “Pearl,” a movie produced by the Chickasaw Nation. The inspiring story of Pearl, the youngest licensed pilot in the United States, is the theme of the annual Kaleidoscope Conference at East Central University on April 15. The conference is for students from the 3rd through the 8th grade and includes lessons taught by ECU students preparing to become teachers.

Ada Evening News


Pearl Carter Scott, who was taught to fly by famed aviator Wiley Post when she was 12, will be the focus of the annual Kaleidoscope Conference Friday at East Central University. The conference is open to youngsters from the third through the eighth grade and enrollment is still open.

Students will participate in four sessions during the day and hear keynote speaker Dr. Paul F. Lambert tell about researching and writing his book “Never Give Up!: The Life of Pearl Carter Scott” about the youngest licensed pilot in American history. 

Lambert, a graduate of ECU, worked for the Oklahoma Heritage Association for 32 years as executive director, president and historian in residence. 

Presently he is a consultant to the Chickasaw Nation and the Oklahoma Historical Society.

The Chickasaw Press published Lambert’s book in 2007 and produced the movie “Pearl,” based in part on the book, in 2010.

Lambert is the author or co-author of 13 books related to the history of Oklahoma and the petroleum industry.

ECU’s pre-service teachers, juniors and seniors who are in the Methods of Elementary Language Arts class, will prepare and teach lessons based on Scott’s early life and also on aviation. The class is taught by Dr. Marty Pennington, ECU assistant professor of education.

Two 45-minute classes will be offered during the morning and two in the afternoon. The cost is $25 which includes lunch and all materials.

Topics range from Oklahoma’s aviation history, how and why planes stay in the air, and designing phenakistoscopes and watching them fly, to learning about the Braille alphabet (Pearl’s father was blind) and activities that relate to Pearl’s life. 

Since Pearl saw herself as an eagle soaring free and high on the winds, students can find the animal they relate to and create an animal mask, or they can learn how to prioritize and do the important things first in life in order to realize their dreams.

To enroll youngsters in the conference, contact Charlee Lanis at 580-559-5457 or Mary Weddle at 580-559-5456 in the Center of Continuing Education and Community Services.

Pearl Carter Scott grew up in Marlow, the daughter of a successful businessman who was blind.  She learned to drive when she was 11. 

Her father, who frequently advised his family to “never give up,” bought Pearl a car and she drove him to work every day.

He was friends with Wiley Post, who taught her to fly, and bought Pearl an airplane in 1928. She earned her license at age 13 and flew her father around the state to conduct his business. She became a well-known barnstormer and commercial pilot by age 14 and performed at air shows across the Midwest. Except for Wiley Post and his chief mechanic, she was the only other person ever allowed to fly Post’s airplane, the “Winnie Mae.”

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