Thoughts While Traveling to Singapore

While global travel is routine for some, as I reflect on my journey from Pittsburgh to Singapore, several things stand out for me. At 10:30am Thursday, January 8, 2015, I boarded a Boeing 777 that had arrived from Brazil in Chicago, then flew to Hong Kong and then continued on to Singapore, where I arrived at 2:12am on Saturday, January 10. On this flight I reminisced that my recently deceased cousin Dan McKaveney lead a team of engineers responsible for designing the engines which powered this plane around the world with only a few stops for refueling, deicing, crew and passenger changes. The route to Hong Kong took us North over the arctic, where the pilot pointed out a view of the Northern Lights; alas I did not have a window seat and still hope to see this phenomena some day. As people moved about the plane, I ended up having a conversation with a doctor from China, via lines of text on my iPad and a translation app on her phone and when I arrived here, I was able to immediately call home, connect to WiFi and then have a Skype video call with my daughter where I learned that she had tracked my trip online and had questions about what the North Pole looks like. As I think about the goals of this delegation, changing curriculum and national assessments in the U.S. and the current push for STEM, STEAM and STREAM focused learning programs, I see the need to offer students a well rounded education with a depth of learning experiences that will build passion and inspire them on a future career path that might have them become a doctor, app developer, engineer, writer, scientist, flight attendant, pilot, or at the very least prepare them for jobs that have not yet been invented in our increasingly connected world. It is here that I hope to ensure my four-year-old daughter will be given the learning opportunities I seek to understand on this trip and develop in our schools.