Floyd Experiences Pure Joy Flying with Elite Blue Angels
Lake Wales Woman Promotes STEM Education through Aviation
Last updated 4/12/2019 at 9:51am
Richele Floyd got the ride of her life this week in the back seat of a U.S. Navy fighter jet, courtesy of the elite Blue Angels.
A pilot herself, the Lake Wales native serves as education director for Sun 'n Fun, which is hosting nearly 200,000 aviation enthusiasts April 2-7 during its 45th Annual Fly-In & Expo at Linder Airport in Lakeland.
"Best day of my life," Floyd enthused, relating the one-hour experience that included rising straight up into the air, flying upside down and performing various aerobatic maneuvers that the aviators complete to delight audiences throughout the world. Floyd said she's actually done aerobatics before so flying upside down wasn't a new experience.
Acknowledging Thursday that she was still on "cloud nine" from her experience, she admitted she had to backtrack slightly with husband Bruce saying her wedding day was pretty awesome also, but she still maintained her Tuesday flight was the "best day ever."
Before joining Sun 'n Fun Floyd was a teacher at Bok Academy in Lake Wales and developer of the school's STEM program to emphasize the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Floyd now travels the county with a portable planetarium and other exhibits. Floyd loves teaching but can now combine it with her love of aviation.
"I can use aviation principles to teach so many things," Floyd said, noting her teaching experience helps her relate to what can excite a love of science in young people.
Sun 'n Fun offers training programs for teachers and STEM and aviation summer camps. The six, one-week Destination Aviation Summer Camp day sessions familiarize young people ages 11-18 with aircrafts, cockpit instruments, aerodynamics and concept reinforcement using flight simulators. Campers also get to fly a leg of a cross-country course they help plan to the East Coast of Florida. STEMtastic ™ Day Camps for children ages 7-12 engage campers with hands-on activities related to robotics, aviation, rocketry, astronomy, meteorology and more. Information about the camps can be found at https://www.flysnf.org/summercamp/
As education director, Floyd promotes programs of the Aerospace Center for Excellence including the Aerospace Pavilion, the Aerospace Discovery Center at the Florida Air Museum, the Central Florida Aerospace Academy(CFAA) High School, The Lakeland Aero Club – a high school flying club, the Piedmont Experience – a Boeing 727 classroom, the Piedmont Hangar, the Tom Davis Education Center, the Buehler Restoration Center, and the Crossfield Discovery Center.
For more information on Sun 'n Fun education programs, visit their website at https://www.flysnf.org/ace-educational-programs/#_snffi
Floyd can be reached by calling 863-644-2431, ext. 183 or emailing [email protected]