iFLY STEM Field Trips Get Students Excited About Learning
Kids and adolescents are inspired by the hands-on learning experience at iFLY's STEM educational programs
Many kids today who are fascinated by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) find it hard to translate their book learning into practical skills. That’s why hands-on experiences are crucial in our time. STEM programs are designed around this very concept and where better to get kids excited about learning that in a wind tunnel! Indoor skydiving’s industry leader, iFLY, offers STEM field trips that provide exciting and engaging educational opportunities for students of all ages. Here, we will delve into the world of wind tunnel physics made accessible by iFLY’s STEM program and how it can benefit the students who attend them.
What Are STEM Education Programs?
STEM programs are educational initiatives that focus on advancing knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These programs aim to provide students with an in-depth understanding of these subjects and develop skills that will help them succeed in the future job market.
STEM programs often introduce students to hands-on learning experiences, projects, and challenges that encourage them to think critically and creatively to solve problems. By participating in such programs, students get exposure to various career opportunities in STEM fields, learn how to work in teams, and develop skills that are highly sought-after by employers.
STEM programs are a fantastic way to get students excited about learning and give them the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in today’s rapidly evolving world.
iFLY STEM Program Overview
In 2015, iFLY launched its STEM education program as an interactive way for kids to learn about science, technology, engineering, and math. Since its inception, over 400,000 students and more than 15,000 organizations have participated in the iFLY STEM Program.
The program allows students to understand the principles of aerodynamics and feel the thrill of flying in an indoor wind tunnel. Hands-on experiences, engaging presentations and demonstrations, followed by supervised flying, make the lessons come alive. Moreover, the program aligns with national and state standards in STEM, thus giving students the perfect opportunity to learn while also meeting academic requirements.
iFLY STEM Field Trips
At an iFLY STEM field trip, your students will have a chance to witness math and physics in action at a state-of-the-art wind tunnel. With the help of a knowledgeable iFLY STEM educator, they will participate in engaging activities, including:
- a presentation on practical STEM applications
- wind tunnel physics demonstrations
- immersive experiments customized for their grade level
- measuring, recording, and interpreting data
Additionally, each student will get a chance to fly in the wind tunnel with a certified world-class iFLY flight instructor, allowing them to feel and experience the physical theories for themselves!
To make sure students get the most out of the experience, participating groups are also provided with pre and post-field trip activities to conduct in the classroom.
Who Can Benefit from the iFLY STEM Program?
The iFLY STEM program is designed to meet the needs of students of all levels. Children of all ages, from elementary through college, can benefit from the program’s interactive learning style.
“Sixth to eighth graders are the most common age group iFLY hosts. But we do have a curriculum for kindergarten to 12th grade. So there is a pretty big mix of grade levels,” says Ellie Davis, Area Sales Manager for iFLY locations in Chicago, Illinois.
The iFLY STEM lessons are planned and adapted to state standards, allowing them to meet the needs of almost any educational organization, including:
- Public and private schools
- Scouts BSA
- Girl Scouts
- Youth groups
- Summer camps
- JROTC groups
- School clubs
By making STEM concepts accessible, iFLY is helping to bridge the gap between theory and real-world experience.
The Impact of the iFLY STEM Program
Numerous studies have proven that hands-on experiences have a profound impact on educational outcomes. The iFLY STEM program has undoubtedly produced its share of success stories. Students who participate in the program not only find it engaging and exciting, but they also tend to have better retention of concepts studied than students who only learn from textbooks. Teachers and organizations who have seen the impact of the program firsthand are some of its biggest supporters.
“…All I can say is WOW! Best field trip in 18 years of teaching. My students couldn’t stop talking about it today!” says Raine Maggio, a Classroom Teacher who attended a field trip with her students.
Understanding Wind Tunnel Technology and Physics
Wind tunnel technology is essentially a means to test the aerodynamics of models by simulating the motion of air around them. Wind tunnel testing has a crucial implication in aircraft design, as it can accurately measure lift and drag effects. In the world of science, this technology helps simulate weather patterns, analyze the aerodynamic properties of cars, and much more. Wind tunnel physics deals with how the object interacts with the airstream, including how air pressure, speed, and resistance influence the object’s flight.
The vertical wind tunnels found at iFLY facilities provide the added bonus of being able to seemingly float things in the air by controlling wind speed to match the terminal velocity of any given object.
That, and well… you can fly in them!
Organize Your Field Trip to iFLY
iFLY’s STEM program is an excellent opportunity for any student who is interested in exploring science, math, engineering, and technology in a hands-on learning environment. The program not only provides fun and engaging experiences but also aligns with educational standards, making it a perfect option for educators and parents alike. The impact of the iFLY STEM program on students’ lives is undeniable.
If you are interested in learning more about the iFLY STEM program or enrolling in one of its courses, please visit their website for more information. Moreover, we would love to hear about your experience with iFLY’s STEM program in the comments below.
Published: May 26, 2023 | Last Updated: May 26, 2023
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