Skip to main content
Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters
Main Content

Michigan AEM Tammy Clingenpeel says CAP programs encourage students' critical thinking

Posted on March 23, 2020 at 1:17 PM by Virginia Smith

Michigan teacher Tammy Clingenpeel's class enjoys participating in CAP's ACE program. 

March 23, 2020

Meet Tammy Clingenpeel, an Aerospace Education Member from Michigan. She was drawn to CAP because of the free resources available to educators. What she has found is that her students love them as well. She participates in AEX, ACE and the STEM Kit program. Her students especially enjoy the physical fitness lessons in the ACE Program, which offers character education and PE lessons along with academic lessons for each grade.

Tell us about the school where you work and the grades you teach. 

I teach at Fellowship Baptist Academy -- a small, rural private school --  for 25 years. I teach a fourth- to sixth-grade combined classroom.

How many years have you been an educator?

I have been an educator for 35 years.

Please list any awards/honors you have received as an educator.

  • AEX Award 2016/17 and 2019/20
  • Outstanding First Year ACE Teacher of the Year 2017
  • Nominated two students that have received National ACE Student of the Year Award 2017 and 2019
  • 2019 Michigan Wing and Great Lakes Region CAP AE Teacher of the Year Award
  • 2019 AFA Michigan Teacher of the Year Award

How many years involved in Civil Air Patrol?

I have been a member since May 2016

How did you get involved in the Civil Air Patrol AEM program?

I got involved in the CAP AEM program after being invited to an informational meeting. I was interested in the free resources available to educators.

What do you like about the AEX Program and why do you participate each year?

I like being part of the AEX program because it gives my students many hours of STEM classes. I participate each year because I see how much it benefits my students. It benefits my students because the AEX program encourages critical thinking and problem solving. I love to see the discovery come across their faces as they complete a unit.

Why do you teach in the Aerospace Education/STEM area?

I teach Aerospace/STEM because it holds great interest to the students and myself. There are many topics of interest available to us. We all enjoy the hands-on learning.

What do you and/or your students like about Civil Air Patrol programs/materials?

My students love the STEM kits and the ACE program. We especially love the PE lessons in the ACE program.

● What is the best advice you have for a new AEM working with CAP programs and materials?

Get involved right away with the free STEM Kit Program available to you. Make good use of the online resources. Go to Civil Air Patrol workshops if one is hosted in your area to learn more about the STEM kits and other resources.

Please tell an anecdote of a rewarding experience working with students using CAP programs.

My students love being part of the ACE program. They especially like the Izzy Dizzy lesson (third grade, physical fitness lesson 5). Every time we do this lesson, my para professional and myself laugh so much. The kids laugh and have a lot of fun spinning around the bat and trying to run while experiencing the feeling an astronaut feels. They beg to spin even more!

Is there anything else you’d like to add for this AEM Story?

I was ready to walk away from teaching before I got involved in the CAP program. Being a part of CAP and being able to implement all the free resources brought me back to loving my job! I sometimes wonder if I am having more fun or the kids?


© 2024 Civil Air Patrol. All rights reserved.