Update from Old Cape Cod - I'm still working part-time, doing teacher workshops for middle and high school math and science teachers, promoting the STEM activities on flight that I co-authored for the Wright Brothers Centennial back in 2003. So far, I've raised almost $700,000 from the Alcoa Foundation for the Academy of Model Aeronautics to support this work, along with grants from NASA and other outfits. The present grant from Alcoa ends in 2017 and when it does, I think I'm ready to hang up my flight suit and smell the roses. [12-16]



Previously Gordon said - Although I retired from the superintendent’s position and a career in public education four years ago, I am fortunate in having an opportunity to remain active as an education development consultant to the Academy of Model Aeronautics. The position enables me to help the Academy obtain grants from NASA and the Alcoa Foundation to create hands-on activities featuring simple model aircraft to teach standards-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills in public school classrooms. Before taking on the role of consultant, I chaired the Academy’s Education Committee for fourteen years and currently serve as Chair of its Scholarship Committee.


Working with the Academy has taken me to many exciting venues – as least for people who are as goofy as I am about aviation in all of its forms. For example, over the years I have had the opportunity to meet personal heroes like John Glenn and Scott Crossfield, and travel to places like Edwards Air Force Base where Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier. To mark my visit to the Dryden NASA Flight Research Center at Edwards, I got to “fly” first class in Engine 2 on one of the 747s used to transport space shuttles to Florida when they were forced to land in California. As a friend noted, “I know what a ten-pound Canada goose can do to one of those things – I can’t imagine the effect you would have on it!”


In addition to having great fun, providing me with lots of travel and a little “mad money,” the work has kept me active in the international arena with presentations in Scotland, Ireland and, most recently, Serbia. Currently, I serve First Vice President of the Education Commission for the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, which meets once a year in Lausanne, giving me an opportunity to learn how aerospace educators from other countries use aviation to inspire and motivate young people. In short, I have more work than I need at the moment, but it works better for me than other retirement pastimes such as fishing, golf or crossword puzzles.


I am most fortunate to have had an interesting career in public education that included international education through student and teacher exchange programs our school district arranged with Chile, the Ukraine, Thailand, Germany and China. I am grateful for the education and experience that the Center, the faculty and fellow students provided for me during those early years - some of which were actually quite fun! Merci, mille fois, aux Dwight, les deux Davids, George et tout le monde aux Centre d’Education Internationale! [6-12]



Email: wrightflight@gmail.com



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