Trinity Lutheran students soaring with Southwest pilots
“Alpha, bravo, charlie, delta!” can be heard echoing the halls of Trinity Lutheran School in Tinley Park.
The aviation phonetic alphabet is just one of the many unique things Trinity fifth graders have been given the opportunity to learn through the Southwest Airlines “Adopt-a-Pilot” program. Pilot Chad Williams and Pilot Amy Williams visited Trinity’s classroom on several occasions and shared their aviation knowledge and experiences first-hand with the eager students.
The program is designed by Southwest to be cross-curricular with all activities being aviation-related. Students track their pilots’ mileage from actual flights as part of their math studies. Geography is incorporated as students chart actual flight patterns taken by their adopted pilots across the United States. Science related topics include weather patterns, cloud identification, and aerodynamics. The class room SMART board was a valuable tool as the pilots used their iPhones and iPads to display video and pictures on it.
“The Adopt-a-Pilot program has been so wonderful for our students because Pilot Chad and Pilot Amy are inspiring the kids not about a job, but about doing what you love,” said Katrina Kloess, Trinity’s fifth grade teacher. “The students are always looking for Southwest planes to fly overhead at recess time,” Kloess continued, “They are always wondering if one of those planes might be flown by their pilot!”
The program will conclude with a trip to Chicago Midway Airport where Trinity’s fifth graders will receive a behind the scenes tour. They will also have the opportunity to board an available airplane and meet additional Southwest employees.