Area Elementary Teachers Become Pilots For A Day Through CAP Program

Amanda Poulsen, a 4th grade teacher, and Claire Erk, a 5th grade teacher, both of Antioch Elementary, along with Chana Russell, a 3rd grade teacher, and Kelly Batson, a 5th grade teacher, both from Laurel Hill School, became ‘pilots for a day’ through Civil Air Patrol (CAP).  The teachers are all members of Civil Air Patrol and are part of Aerospace Connections in Educations (ACE) K-6 at their school or plan to incorporate the program by next August.

The ACE Program curriculum is conducted through CAP membership and was created by educators.  It incorporates fun, hands-on activities with cross-curricular lesson plans that meet national standards of learning that engage science, technology, engineering, math.  These lessons enrich school curricula and promote good character and physical fitness.  Antioch Elementary school has about twenty-two teachers that use this program with their students.

TOP Flights give educators the opportunity to experience engineering and aviation in an exciting way.  On Saturday, March 1st, the teachers showed up at Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview for aviation tactics and engineering training.  Then two at a time, the teachers flew with Eric R. Duron, Maj, CAP FL Wg Gp 1 AEO.  Each teacher was allowed a chance to sit in the front and pilot the Cessna for thirty minutes.   

The funding for the flights was provided by grant CAP grant monies.  Each year, Laura Pink, North Okaloosa County CAP ACE Program Coordinator and teacher at Antioch Elementary school, helps to schedule these flights for peers.  Pink says, “This allows teachers can take their newly learned knowledge, experience and enthusiasm back into the school and classroom to incorporate it into their science curriculum.  The teachers love it!”