Most teachers don’t delve into space education before their students even know how to read. Dr. Rossana Chiarella is an exception. She teaches space travel to her pre-K students in Hialeah.
Chiarella was not much older herself when she first became interested in space.
At 6 years old, she first witnessed an astronaut going to the moon from her hometown in Peru.
She carried her love of space with her to the United States and throughout her teaching career.
Last year she, along with 24 other educators from around the world, was chosen as a teacher liaison for a nonprofit group called the Space Foundation.
Through their network she learned about the Civil Air Patrol’s Teaching Orientation Flights. She signed up to take part in one of these flights.
“It’s a Civil Air Patrol Aerospace education Program Designed to attract teachers and allow them the opportunity to go on a flight, do some training beforehand and experience flight firsthand so they can go and take that back to the school and share that experience with their students,” said Lt. Col. Fuentes, her trainer and pilot.
On her flight Rossana took photos of the view and videos of herself reading stories from the sky to show her students.
She hopes that her in-flight lesson plan will inspire her students to get interested in science.
“My time has passed already. But I have important things to do in the air. So what I’m gonna do is teach the kids and maybe those kids are going to be an astronaut one day,” said Chiarella.
The Teaching Orientation Flights are available to all educators through the Civil Air Patrol. It is of no cost to the teacher and it’s about an hour flight.