Project Spotlight: Innovative Flight Simulation Experiences for Students and Teachers
STELAR recently had the opportunity to interview Chadia Affane Aji and Mohammad Javed Khan at Tuskegee University from the ITEST Project Innovative Flight Simulation Experiences for Students and Teachers to learn more about the program. Middle and high school students from rural communities in Macon County, Alabama, have been using a low-cost dynamic flight simulation environment during the weekends and over the summer to enhance their learning in physics and mathematics.
What excites you most about the work you do every day?
As an educator, the most exciting aspect of our work is the empowering of students with the ability of learning how to learn. It is extremely satisfying to see students responding to open-ended problems. Students use critical thinking through these problems to identify relevant previously learned concepts and synthesize this knowledge.
Which STELAR/ITEST resources do you find most valuable?
STELAR has a number of excellent resources. The blogs are of great interest as they provide valuable insights into the various projects. The face-to-face interactions with passionate educators at the meetings organized by STELAR and previously the ITEST LRC are very informative.
How has the ITEST community supported you in your work?
This is our sixth year interacting with the ITEST community. We have found it to be very supportive. The staff at STELAR and the ITEST LRC are superb in providing support, be it information on available assessment instruments or networking contacts. This helps in building synergistic linkages between the PIs, and can result in new opportunities for collaboration.
Can you share how your ITEST project impacts youth?
Our ITEST project is aimed at providing technology enriched learning experiences to students from groups under-represented in STEM careers. The school district that we work with is a low-income rural district. The ITEST project has brought to the students content and pedagogy that was innovative. We are now in the process of working with the teachers to fully integrate the approach in the classroom to be part of their normal teaching.