For over two decades, the Alberta Aviation Museum (AAM)’s most popular program has been Theory of Flight (TOF). It’s the museum’s longest running and only formal education program based on the Alberta Grade 6 curriculum. It was originally developed and continues to be largely facilitated by volunteers. The program has grown so much in popularity that most years it has been booked solid. Its success is evident by the number of visiting youth and young adults who remember and mention their TOF field trip.
Despite the program’s continuing success, a major update was long overdue. While there were attempts to update TOF, including the addition of flight simulators two years ago, mixed reviews for the simulators made it clear that we couldn’t continue to make only minor updates to TOF. We needed to completely rethink our education program.
There were several factors that made the existing TOF program unsustainable, as it did not meet all teachers’ needs and was difficult to facilitate. The existing program was too densely packed with content that was specific to only a few units of one grade level. It was also too long, and lecture-based.
- Flexible to better meet the needs of individual classes;
- More diverse in curriculum content; and
- Structured to expand for more grades.