Teachers’ Pre-Flight Experience

Teachers’ Pre-Flight Experience
SUN ‘n FUN 2024

Formerly “Teachers’ Workshop”

Teachers, Pre-K through College are invited to join us at the 50th SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo for a “non-standardized day” designed especially for YOU! The day begins with a hot catered breakfast in our flight-line chalet with our keynote speaker. Eagerly wait in anticipation as four names are drawn to fly with the AeroShell Aerobatic Team! Go on a flight-line tour in a private tram with specialized stops, meet our airshow performers, and explore the many aircraft on our Warbird Ramp. Enjoy a catered lunch with special guests, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the airshow with family and friends at our premier teacher airshow seating.  

Come experience the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo with us and leave feeling inspired to help your students to reach for the stars!  
After all, the Sky is Just the Beginning!

Registration is a low rate of $30.00 for teachers and administrators.

What does Registration Include?

  • Regular admission to the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo for the day (Saturday)
    • Special family package available
      • Maximum of 2 additional adult tickets at $40.00 per ticket
      • Maximum of 2 additional youth tickets (11-17 year old) at $15.00 per ticket
      • Kids are FREE
      • Additional tickets can be purchased in addition to the discounted tickets available
  • Fly-In Survival Bag (Special Teacher Edition)
  • Hot catered breakfast in one of our premier flight-line chalets
  • A chance to be selected at random through a drawing to fly with the AeroShell Aerobatic Team! (The rides are for teachers currently in the classroom, and they must be physically able to climb into the cockpit, without assistance, of a T-6 aircraft and weight less than 250 pounds.)
  • Private tram tour of the flight line with special stops along the way
  • Lunch with Special Guests
  • Premier airshow seating reserved for teachers and their family
  • Parking Pass
  • Stay and explore the remaining areas of the fly-in and enjoy the night show!

*****Family members are NOT included in breakfast, programming, tours, or lunch, but can join you at our premier airshow seating between 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm to watch the airshow together.

Estimated TimeActivities
7:30 am Transportation available from Main Registration to the Flight-Line Chalet
7:45 am Breakfast
Keynote Speaker 
AeroShell Drawing for flight
Group Photo 
9:00 am Private Flight Line Tour for ALL teachers with special stops along the way
Meet airshow performers
Explore warbird aircraft
12:35 pm Lunch with special guests
2:00 pm Airshow (Special teacher seating reserved for registered teachers and their family) 

Ray Lien was reputed as an excellent aviation educator. He envisioned an Aerospace Educators Workshop in 1988. Ray was introduced to aviation in 1925 by his Platte, South Dakota, neighbors. Ray enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in January 1942. Throughout WWII, Ray served as a Maintenance Officer in various locations, but predominantly in North Africa with B-26 and B-25 aircraft. After the war, Ray joined the Air Force Reserve, where he continued to serve in the maintenance field until his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1970.

Ray Lien earned a BS in Agricultural Engineering from South Dakota State College in 1941 and an MS in Agricultural Engineering in 1958. He actually began teaching at Purdue University in 1953, which he continued until 1987. He was one of the few Purdue University faculty to ever rise from an Instructor to Full Professor without earning a Ph.D. In 1988, he became Coordinator (and later Chairman) of Educational Project for SUN ‘n FUN and started the first Aerospace Educator Workshop.

In Ray’s honor, we proudly present the Ray Lien Award annually during the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo during the Teachers’ Pre-Flight Experience. This award is given to recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to aviation education.

Nomination Procedures – Deadline March 1, 2024.

  • The award will be presented at the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida during the Teachers’ Pre-Flight Experience. We request the recipient be present to receive the award.
  • Anyone can nominate a person and it can be self-nominated. The nominator must submit a letter of support for the candidate by describing his/her contributions to aviation education.
  • The nomination letter of support should be submitted no later than March 1, 2024.

Ray Lien Award Winners

Spirit of an Educator – “Knowledge is the key to aviation’s future.”

1998 Paul Poberezny1999 A. Scott Crossfield2000 Lyle R. Flagg
2001 Billy Henderson2002 Gene Olson2003 Dr. Charley Rodriguez
2004 Dr. Carol Denicole2005 Barbara Walters-Phillips2006 Greg Harbaugh
2007 Marie Grein2008 Richard Ortega2009 Chad Smith
2010 Barry Scharf2011 Lori Bradner2012 Bill Yucuis
2013 Joseph Oliver2014 John Iskra2015 Not Awarded
2016 George “Gabe” Gabrielle2017 Thomas J. Sarko2018 Mary Catherine Vaughn
2019 Marie Hill2021 Jessica Strauss2022 David Cohen
2023 Jeri Martin

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