The Museum understands the importance of aviation technology education and has been developing programs such as home school days and children’s summer camps to become a more education driven organization. The CLIC exhibit is another important step towards inspiring children to think about aviation technology and consider aviation careers.
Aviation technology is not a prominent subject in most school curriculums; yet, teaching this information can give children another way to understand educational subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The CLIC exhibit will give children a greater consideration of these concepts as well as open the door to different aviation careers such as air traffic controller, grounds crew, and pilot.This exhibit will add to the museum collection by giving children an area to explore, learn and think about the future.
Over 5,000 children visit the Museum each year with parents, school groups, and kid’s camps. Each of these children, ages 4-12, will have a chance to interact with the exhibit and,while having fun, they will also be gaining knowledge of the aviation information and possible careers.
The Children’s Learning Interactive Center will include six educational and interactive aviation subject areas including:
Control Tower and Slide
As children climb their way up the padded crisscrossed ledges they will hear the sounds of actual pre-recorded control tower radio “chatter” at the top of the tower. The control tower will also include colorful graphics and flip panels with information about possible careers in aviation including air traffic controller, ground crew, mechanic, etc.
Using sample templates and step-by-step graphics children will produce paper airplanes with an educational focus on principles of flight including a plane’s lift, wing and nose shape. During this activity children will gain knowledge on the physics of flight by selecting various lines on the floor that range in distance to a target hole in the wall. Depending on which line is selected, children will qualify as civil aviation, airline, or fighter-jet pilot.
Parachute Drop and Observation Platform
Children will create their own parachute with a toy soldier; from an elevated platform kids will get an understanding of the force of resistance associated with their parachute creations. As their parachutes drops they will encounter randomly activated fans simulating unexpected wind currents.
Two kids at a time will take part in this activity; while sitting opposite of each other, together they will turn the wheel in front of them. Their turning efforts will register on the G-Force Gauge simulating the law of physics and an understanding of the pull of gravitational force that fighter pilots endure during flight. During this activity safety is a priority; therefore there will be an interior and exterior cage to protect both the riders and onlookers. Once the cage is opened the ride is automatically stopped.
Two riders pedal together to raise the base of this ride a few feet in the air, which mechanically mimics the aerodynamics of helicopter flight. This activity gives children another perspective of aviation technology by bringing in the dynamics of helicopter education.
Wind Tunnel Interactive
By putting their hand into a glove attached to the exhibit children will automatically activate the fan inside the tunnel chamber. By picking up and releasing various shapes such as a cube, pyramid, flat surface, and aileron. Children will gain an understanding of the effects of air flow over and around the different objects. Interactive text will also help explain why airplane wings are shaped the way they are.