TOP Flights: Puerto Rico Teachers Ride with Wing
Teachers from public and private schools across Puerto Rico took to the skies Aug. 20 from Mercedita International Airport in Ponce as passengers on the Civil Air Patrol aerospace education program’s Teacher Orientation Program (TOP) Flights.
The TOP Flight program is designed to expose CAP’s educator members to the excitement of flight in a CAP plane, which they can share with their classrooms in presenting lessons related to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
Virgen Gómez, teacher at Eugenio LeCompte Benítez Middle School in Ponce, called her flight “a unique and exceptional experience. It was extremely enriching, and I will certainly be implementing what I learned with my students. I hope that my students can have the same experience soon.”
In all, 18 teachers received a TOP Flight from a Puerto Rico Wing pilot. They represented schools in Aibonito, Arecibo, Camuy, Coamo, Dorado, Guayama, Guaynabo, Ponce, Peñuelas, and Sabana Grande.
Lt. Col. Carlos M. Arroyo, the wing’s orientation flights coordinator, praised the orientation flight pilots’ “professionalism and passion.”
Members of the Puerto Rico Wing greeted the educators as they arrived at the airport’s general aviation terminal in the morning. A safety briefing followed, after which teachers began boarding CAP planes in pairs, escorted by flight line marshallers from the terminal to the ramp.
Meanwhile, Capt. Pedro Rosa, external aerospace education officer for Puerto Rico Wing Group II, briefed other educators on CAP’s Aerospace Connections in Education (ACE) and Aerospace Education Excellence (AEX) programs. He also discussed how they could apply for CAP STEM Kits.
Rosa’s seminar included an exhibit of CAP’s STEM kits on Robotics, Astronomy, Rocketry, 30 Days Lost in Space, Flight Simulators, AngLegs, Build & Learn Geometry, Outdoor Quadcopter, Remote-Controlled Aircraft, VTOL, and Weather Station.
Capt. Elias Roman Rivera
Public Affairs Officer
Puerto Rico Wing