By C/CMSgt Nicholas Rossetti
Over two hundred and fifty science teachers and administrators from all around Arizona came to the NAU Campus in Phoenix, AZ for the Annual Arizona Science Teachers Association Conference (AASTAC) on November 7-8 2014. During the AASTAC, the educators participated in workshops, lectures, and group presentations. They also visited an exhibit area where different booths were set up for the educators to learn about a variety of new technologies and activities for them to use in their classrooms.
The main focus of this year’s AASTAC was Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). STEM education is an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides hands-on and relevant learning experiences for students. CAP promotes and supports Aerospace/STEM education, both for its own members and the general public. CAP's educational programs help prepare the youth of today to meet the challenges of a sophisticated Aerospace/STEM society and understand its related global issues, especially as pertains to national security. CAP offers national standards-driven educational products that include a variety of K-12 books, modules, activities, and DVDs, all focusing on Aerospace and STEM Education.
CAP was one of the many organizations that were on display. The booth was staffed by SM Fritz Seifritz, SM Raymond Johnson, SM Angelo Rossetti, SM Pete Feltz, and C/Nicholas Rossetti all from the Arizona Wing. They talked to the administrators and teachers about the missions of the Civil Air Patrol. The teachers were informed about the three Missions: Aerospace Education/STEM, Cadet Programs, and Emergency Services. As teachers showed interest, the senior members shared with them printed information and links to the CAP website.
CAP also had on display a flight simulator from Squadron 305. Teachers were given an opportunity to sit in the cockpit of the simulator and take off in a Cessna 182. Their flight originated from Falcon Field, through the desert of Arizona, making simple and advanced turns to the left and right, and ultimately landing back at Falcon Field. Capt. Roden and C/CMSgt Rossetti helped guide the educators in operating the simulator.
SM Feltz, the AZ Wing DAE, said that he is confident that many of the administrators and teachers who saw what CAP has to offer will become Aerospace Education Members. This will allow them to be part of the many educators across Arizona who promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) thru CAP’s Aerospace Education Program.