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Dream Flight Adventures - IKS Titan
 Shaler Area is the world leader in immersive and experiential education.  
 
We are often visited by educators, business leaders, university and museum representatives and government officials from all over the world to see and learn about our simulator, how it is used and why it is an important development. Many ask how they can get a simulator of their own. Since we built the very first simulator of it's kind in 2013 there are now 6 simulators around the world and others in development.  The Smithsonian's Explore! Children's Museum has one on a bus. There is one in Valencia, Venezuela,  The Pittsburgh area has 4 simulators:  Shaler Area, Baldwin-Whitehall, Lower Burrell and Penn Hills. The YMCA program has used existing simulators at several of the Pittsburgh Area schools for their after school and summer programs.
 
Shaler Area leads this group of visionaries by facilitating the changes of the evolving software, training the "Flight Directors" at the other simulators, leading a robust Community of Practice (funded in 2015 by the Grable Foundation with a generous $26K grant) and assisting schools, museums and organizations who are interested in getting simulators of their own.  
 
What is it? 
We have transformed a classroom into the bridge of an imaginary space ship called the “Titan”. It has a 16 member crew and every member of the crew has several responsibilities. Each crew member has a “ship’s function” to maintain and each also has a role in the completion of the ship's mission. For instance, the Physicist is responsible for the allocation of the ship’s power supply and is also responsible for utilizing the ships Versabeam (an energy beam that has several different capabilities). The ship is part of the imaginary “Infinity Knights” – the renowned protectors of peace and justice throughout the universe who are sent on important and challenging missions anywhere in space and time.  This is a one of a kind project and we are honored to be the home of the FIRST Dream Flight Simulator. 
Why is it here/how did we get the simulator? 
Shaler Area School District takes seriously it’s mission of being a leader in interdisciplinary learning and the development of 21st Century skills. Through a partnership with a visionary named Gary Gardiner, the Grable Foundation and our then Assistant to the Superintendent, Mrs. Kara Eckert, a significant grant was secured to develop the project. (No taxpayer money was used to develop this project.) 
What are the students learning while using the simulator? 
The simulator is a themed, interactive learning environment that teaches students teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, effective communication and increases interest and enthusiasm in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) topics. All these elements combine to create an immersive learning environment that challenges students to use all of their right- and left-brain skills, plus lots of team work, to solve complex problems.
How is the simulator used? 
Groups of students climb into the simulator, work together to operate it, and use it to go on a wide variety of educational adventures. The only limits we have in creating “missions” is the limits of our imagination, in the simulator we travel to space, explore under the sea, enter the human body, a volcano or go back in time, and many others. Students take on roles of the crew and work together to accomplish their mission as it unfolds around them. The Simulator is part of the regular Health and Science curriculum for all three grades and compliments the curriculum of nearly every other subject taught at SAES. Every student at SAES experiences the simulator at least once each year.

We have received so much positive attention and here will be much more media attention to come. The official launch date was March 20, 2013. Since then many of our students have voluntarily participated in events by acting as tour guides, presenters and demonstrators showing how the simulator works for VIP guests from all over the world.  If you would like more information about the simulator please go to: http://dreamflightadventures.com/. There you will find lots of information on the simulator, the missions and you will even see some pictures of our students!  As always, if you have any questions about this  please do not hesitate to contact me at pennm@sasd.k12.pa.us

 
If you are interested in more information, click here for the "Dream Flight Adventures" web-site. Much of the information on this site is directly, or in part, from the Dream Flight Adventures web site. 
 
 
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1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard     Glenshaw, PA. 15116     P 412-492-1200     F 412-492-1236
1800 Mt. Royal Boulevard Glenshaw, PA. 15116 P 412-492-1200 F 412-492-1236
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