The students of Wetumpka Elementary School had an exceptional return from their brief holiday break by watching as their principal, assistant administrator and schools superintendent flew over the school to inaugurate an aviation partnership with the school.
The WES first through fourth grade students collected outside early in the school day Tuesday to witness the administrations fly over of the school, and to wave as they passed.
In addition to seeing them from the ground, Assistant Administrator Tracy Wright was live-streaming the event from the air to the ground via his cell phone in order to take the students on board the flight as much as they could.
They cheered and waved as they passed overhead, after watching video of their short flight from the Wetumpka Municipal Airport to WES.
That was the idea Wright said he had for the event, to include as many technological and science driven processes as possible to promote STEM Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics at the school.
Furthering the school system’s and school’s STEM development, is an initiative Wright has advocated for years and will be furthered through their new partnership with the Civil Air Patrol.
A CAP plane departed from the city’s municipal airport transporting the school leaders.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids as well as teachers,” said Principal Bonnie Sullivan.
She said the unlikely partnership will allow the school’s teachers to participate in CAP professional development.
“They get kits and educational information for classroom teaching,” Sullivan said.
Wright has essentially been at the helm of the efforts to more fully incorporate STEM subjects into curriculum.
Before his current role as administrative assistant, Wright said he was a mathematics curriculum specialist with the school system, and a math major in college.
It is also wrapped up with his Day of Coding undertaking, recently held to introduce third and fourth graders at WES to computer coding and programming, all with the underpinned with problem solving as its goal.
“This is basically just a kick off if you will of the partnership,” Wright said. “They’re going to connect us with a lot of people involving STEM around the area.”
He said the Tuesday flight was inaugural of the partnership between the school and the civilian counterpart to the Air Force.
According to the CAP website:
“As a Total Force partner and Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, Civil Air Patrol is there to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. Its 56,000 members selflessly devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace/STEM education and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.”
The local unit it located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery according to the website.
Wright said a program was slated for development at the Elmore County Technical Center in introductory aviation of sorts, and airplane maintenance.
“This will prepare our kids to be more trained in those fields,” Wright said.“We’re tying to expand the horizon of our kids again to be problem solvers … we’re trying to build a better problem solving kid.”