As the country enters its seventh month of altered operations, and schools and educators alike, across the country, struggle to support student learning and engagement in this new environment of onsite, online and hybrid learning, the Air Zoo innovates its science offerings to help fill the gap.
“As we build on the outstanding success of our new, immersive and engaging virtual summer camp programs, that reached children and families across the country, and even in to Mexico, the dedicated team here at the Air Zoo is so proud to announce that it has just launched a new and exciting arsenal of science programs, we refer to them as our Virtual Learning Labs.” states Air Zoo President and CEO, Troy Thrash. “We just can’t wait to ignite young minds – all over the galaxy!”
The Air Zoo’s new, live, virtual offerings engage children age 3 and up with hands-on, immersive and level appropriate science education courses. Their Virtual Learning Labs include: Education@Home and Virtual STE@M Programs for Classrooms as well as newly developed programs for Girl Scouts, Scouts BSA, Cub Scouts, libraries and more. The Air Zoo also offers financial aid and scholarship funds to help both individuals and groups, that meet requirements, cover the cost of most of their educational programs.
As indicative of the name, Education@Home programs are geared to support families that are not only home schooling their children, but also those with children in virtual or hybrid classrooms, learning from home. These exciting 75-minute programs are segmented by age and offered once per month, now through May 2021. The cost for registration is only $6/child, plus shipping for those with Air Zoo provided material kits to enhance the hands-on learning experience as kids follow along with an Air Zoo Educator, live. Kits can also be picked up at the Air Zoo, and all materials are the family’s to keep. Select programs will not require a kit and will instead provide a list of items that are typically found in the home. General information, schedule and registration links can be found online at www.airzoo.org/education-at-home.
The Air Zoo’s Virtual STE@M Programs for Classrooms are designed to support K-12 educators that are structured virtually, on-site, or even a hybrid model with live instruction – via a secure digital environment. These exciting science-based programs are immersive, hands-on, grade level specific and include materials kit (for pick up or shipping) and/or a material list to help engage students follow along as they interact with an Air Zoo Educator, live! More details and a class list can be found at www.airzoo.org/virtual-steam-programs.
Girl Scouts, Scouts BSA, Cub Scouts, area libraries and other groups also have a new assortment of live, virtual learning opportunities available to them through the Air Zoo. All 2020-2021 Air Zoo scouting events have gone virtual and are available now for registration. Area libraries, youth groups, clubs and other children’s organizations can take advantage of the Air Zoo’s engaging outreach programs and are encouraged to visit the website or reach out to the Air Zoo’s Group & Events Team to discuss in person and live virtual options.
For those familiar with the Fly Buy Gift Shop and its immense offerings, you will be happy to learn they have recently added more than a dozen new STEAM education activity sets to their already expansive assortment of discovery items to spark at-home learning. These items can be found on-site as well as online for purchase, while supplies last.
As the year progresses, the Air Zoo commits to exploring even more ways to encourage, engage, and ignite our future technical workforce, support our dedicated educators and inspire our community leaders.
About the Air Zoo
Located at 6151 Portage Rd., Portage, MI 49002, the Air Zoo (www.AirZoo.org) is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science museum with over 100 rare air & space craft, inspiring interactive exhibits, indoor amusement park rides, full-motion flight simulators, hands-on science-based camps, and more. For tickets and info, visit www.AirZoo.org.