The Science of Flight Soars into The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Emphasizing STEM Principles

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Curious Science Investigators: Flight Adventures, is an all-new multimedia show, associated programs and displays that explore the science of flight.

CSI: Flight Adventures

CSI: Flight Adventures at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

I encourage young people that have any interest in aviation at all, to try model flying,” said Robert “Hoot” Gibson, five-time Space Shuttle pilot and commander, member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame and AMA's National Ambassador.

Take off with Curious Science Investigators: Flight Adventures, an all-new multimedia show, associated programs and displays that explore the super-cool science of flight! The innovative experience opens Feb. 25, 2012 at the world’s largest children’s museum, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

In addition to a multimedia show, children and families are invited to explore the physics of flight by creating and testing their own handmade models in a vertical wind tunnel. They will also have the opportunity to virtually construct a model plane and watch the plane’s virtual flight performance. Visitors will also be able to view models on loan from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA). There is also a tremendous opportunity for our visitors to extend their learning after visiting through an amazing new interactive Web module at http://www.childrensmuseum.org.

“I encourage young people that have any interest in aviation at all, to try model flying,” said Robert “Hoot” Gibson, five-time Space Shuttle pilot and commander, member of the Astronaut Hall of Fame, AMA’s National Ambassador, and aero-modeler since age 7. “The learning, the introduction you’re going to get from models, is going to translate directly, in my opinion, into flying a full-size airplane. Plus, it’s just ‘plane’ fun!”

Flight Adventures Multimedia Show

Flight Adventures is the story of “Artie,” a young girl who is fascinated by flight. Her grandfather encourages Artie’s interest, taking her to airports, flying kites with her, and even accompanying Artie on her first airplane ride. But the most important thing Artie learns about flight is to always test an aircraft with a model before flying with a person onboard.

“This multimedia show demonstrates ways children and families can learn valuable STEM concepts (science, technology, engineering, and math) together in an engaging and hands-on way,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “Several academic studies suggest that skills in these disciplines are valuable components in enabling the next generation of innovators. We are thrilled to partner with NASA and the AMA to help families enjoy the dynamics of flight and serve as a catalyst to inspire them to explore opportunities in science and technology.”

The show—featured in SpaceQuest® Planetarium—and programs have been made possible through a prestigious Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

“NASA is proud to work with museums and other informal education venues that offer interactive, hands-on learning opportunities for inspiring students to study STEM,” said James Stofan, deputy associate administrator for education at NASA Headquarters. “The excitement generated by this type of learning is a perfect complement to their classroom instruction.”

Visitors will also enjoy the rare opportunity of viewing the Bell X-14 on loan from the Ropkey Armor Museum through the summer. The X-14 was the only open-cockpit X-plane built. It was an experimental aircraft designed to help advance vertical take-off and landing technology.

"The Children's Museum has a long and distinguished history of making science meaningful for children of all ages, and the Academy of Model Aeronautics has been doing much same thing for aviation during the past 75 years,” said Gordon Schimmel, Ph.D, Chair, Education Committee, Academy of Model Aeronautics. “Our sport and hobby has been an entry-level experience and training ground for pilots and astronauts for many decades, and models have been used as proof-of-concept vehicles since the days of the Wright brothers.”

Online Learning

Visitors will also be encouraged to extend learning at home through an amazing new interactive Web module. The CSI: Flight Adventures website will feature additional information for children, families, students, and teachers including videos, games, and links to other resources and websites. The site will also feature plans for families to build their own simple model aircraft and a wind tunnel. Look for the site along with valuable Units of Study for teachers at childrensmuseum.org on or after Feb. 16.

The CSI: Flight Adventures multimedia show and programs were produced in partnership with the AMA, the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, and WFYI Channel 20. This entire initiative was developed under Grant No. NNX10AK16G with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The United States Government has a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, and prepare derivative works of this project, and allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. All other rights are retained by the copyright owner.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

AMA and the National Model Aviation Museum are located in nearby Muncie, Indiana.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families across the arts, sciences, and humanities. For more information about The Children's Museum, visit http://www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy, Facebook.com/childrensmuseum and YouTube.

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