Starting this fall, Grade Six students attending the museum’s Science of Flight program will be able to learn what it’s really like to fly an aircraft.

Our new flight simulator lab features eight Redbird Jay flight simulators. It will be available to classes who choose the more advanced program, which goes above and beyond the basic Grade Six curriculum.

Our new flight simulator lab featuring eight new Redbird Jay simulators.

Programming coordinator Alysha Blakey hopes it will build on the Alberta Aviation Museum’s more than 15-year tradition of helping students understand the science behind aviation.

“You have those classes where you say, ‘I think these kids really have a tight grasp of the material I wish that we could do something more for them to challenge them,'” says Blakey. “I think it’s important that students of this age not only see how aviation has shaped Edmonton’s history but also that they can see themselves in it as a possible interest or field of work. So its an investment in the students’ futures.”

The Redbird Jay simulator ‘in flight.’

The simulators were purchased with a grant from the Edmonton Aviation Heritage Society. The program was developed with the help of practicum student Jenna Skibinsky, who is attending MacEwan University’s Cultural Arts and Management Program.

Blakey says she is really excited to be able to introduce this new advanced program.

“For students of this age and the time they are living in, digital literacy is so important.”

The museum will still offer the regular full-day and half-day programs that are aimed at getting students ready for their unit test on the Science of Flight. The simulator program will be available to classes who have already covered the material and have completed their unit test on the subject.

Programming Coordinator Alysha Blakey (l) and Grant MacEwan practicum student Jenna Skibinsky (r) trying out the simulators.

Students getting the regular programs, without the flight simulators, will still get a thorough exposure to airplanes and aerodynamics with lots of interactive opportunities.

“We have passionate instructors who are constantly altering the program to get kids out of the desks and onto the floor so it’s becoming a lot more engaging for the students. It’s the farthest thing from a regular school day, “Blakey says.

More information about the Grade Six Science of Flight program can be found here.

And we are always looking for volunteer instructors to help teach the program. If you are interesting in helping with this exciting program, you can apply here.