Eight hours. That’s how long it took to fly from Dallas-Fort Worth to Madrid, Spain for Spring Break – nearly 5,000 miles in a 777 airplane.
At take-off, I marveled to my husband that I couldn’t wrap my brain around how this plane with nearly 400 people and all our luggage was going to get off the ground. I asked a lot of questions: how much jet fuel was needed to get us across the Atlantic? Where was all the fuel stored? What kind of gas mileage does a 777 jet get? How big are the engines? Since my husband is a pilot, he was well equipped with answers.
Those eight hours literally flew by thanks to technology – personal monitors (and my very own remote), showing the latest movies, TV shows, e-books and games, as well as our flight information with airspeed, outside temperature, headwind, miles and time to our destination. Hundreds of people simultaneously being entertained to make a long flight enjoyable. Who knew there was city called Ponta Delgada in the archipelago of the Azores off the coast of Portugal!
When we arrived, we zipped from the airport to our Puerta del Sol metro stop. I was impressed by the thoughtful engineering and planning of this speedy and efficient rapid transit system that made traveling affordable and convenient. If only we had this in the Midwest, we’d have easy access to cities like Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Little Rock, and Chicago…endless adventures!
After three days of admiring Madrid’s beautiful plazas, palaces and parks, as well as medieval Toledo’s history with all the swords, daggers and armor a 13-year-old boy can dream of, we traveled two and a half hours on a high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona going nearly 300 kilometers per hour at times.
We rented electric bikes and maneuvered the streets of Barcelona, rode a cable car from a mountain top to the beach, took a boat tour on the Mediterranean, rode elevators up a monument of Christopher Columbus and a tower of Gaudi’s magnificent Sagrada Familia.
My point. STEM! Science, Technology, Engineering and Math! Over thousands of years, brilliant minds have created incredible modes of transportation, architectural wonders, urban designs and technology that make our world accessible.
I’m proud that Williams has invested nearly $4 million over the past three years to help advance STEM education across the United States. For every robotics competition, school STEM lab, summer camp, science fair, and tech school we have supported, growing minds are solving problems and imagining the unimaginable.
Thanks to STEM, my family will cherish memories of Spring Break 2019 forever. I can’t wait to see what modern marvels are next!