14 May 2019
Written by: Cressida Bullock - Managing Director at Fun Science
In February 2019, we at Fun Science were asked by iFLY Indoor Skydiving to help them redevelop and enhance their already popular STEM schools sessions.
Indoor skydiving provides an exhilarating experience perfect for children but there is also genuine curiosity behind the science of how the facilities work, which the team at iFLY were keen to communicate.
iFLY were already doing an outstanding job by providing courses which covered the science basics associated with flight and wind resistance, but asked us to collaborate with them to refresh the sessions and give them even more educational value.
Our brief was to create two separate hour-long courses; one for primary schools (KS1 and KS2) and one for secondary schools (KS3 and KS4), both with direct links to the national curriculum. We were asked to ensure they carry a legitimate educational value, with an emphasis on having FUN!
In these courses, children will learn about the science behind the wind tunnel and the physics of flight, covering syllabus topics including materials, experiments, forces, air resistance, energy transfers, and gathering and recording data.
Plus, no science session would be complete without an experiment!
iFLY UK National Account manager, Jonathan Sidgwick is a huge fan of Lego, so when it came to creating a practical experiment using renewable materials, the way ahead was clear. Together with Jonathan, we have created a vehicle experiment which involves the children using building blocks on a standard vehicle chassis, and encourages full design creativity in building a model which will best be propelled by a blow dryer across a track. Laser technology then records the exact speeds shown on a digital leaderboard!
The introduction of laser gates and computer tech allows for a practical demonstration of speed equalling distance over time which is perfect for our secondary school workshop. Early feedback suggests this will be a highlight of the new courses, combining scientific experimentation, creativity, and fun!
After the course, the children will then put into practice what they have learnt, as they experience exhilarating Indoor Skydiving themselves in iFLY’s wind tunnel – a huge interactive science exhibit!
Finally, we were asked what else could be added to the packages to ensure they live up to the promise of being the ultimate science school trip. We’ve found that all too often, teachers are not considered in school packages, so with our recommendation, iFLY’s school packages now include a free flight for the teacher.
Fun Science are delighted to have worked with iFLY on their new STEM packages, offering legitimate educational value alongside an unforgettable group experience.
Launching on 14th May, iFLY’s new Schools packages are accredited by The Children's University, Manchester Tutors, and The British Science Association.