Barrington Irving’s Flying Classroom Lands at Clay Lacy Aviation, Van Nuys Airport to Welcome Local Students from Gault Street Elementary School
Van Nuys, CA, November 10, 2014— Barrington Irving and his Flying Classroom landed at Van Nuys Airport’s Clay Lacy Aviation to a crowd of over sixty 5 th graders from a local school, Gault Street Elementary.
First launched on September 23rd from Washington, D.C., Barrington’s program is the first-ever interactive STEM+ learning adventure spanning 3 continents. Captain Irving, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer who holds the Guinness World Record as the youngest person to fly solo around the world, is piloting Inspiration III, a business jet provided by Executive Air
Services in Miami. Over the past two months, Irving visited North America, Asia, Indonesia, and Australia, exploring real life applications of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, history, geography and humanities (STEM+) through 16 powerful ground, air, and sea expeditions.
"This isn't just an aircraft," said Captain Irving. "It's an exploration vehicle for learning that is engaging and teaching millions of kids in ways they've never been taught before. I hope this experience will help students discover their passion for STEM+ the way my own pilot mentor helped me discover mine when I was 15. "
Fabio Alexander, CEO of Executive Air Services added, "My goal was to provide a transportation tool, Inspiration III (a Hawker 400XP) for this ground-breaking STEM+ initiative with American educational hero Captain Irving at the helm, to engage students to find their interest and a career path they love as they experience exciting, virtual adventures around the world."
Inspiration III is scheduled to travel to all seven continents over three consecutive school years.
Throughout each flight, students will have virtual access to Irving’s adventures through videos and a blog onwww.flyingclassroom.com . Students in schools that utilize the Flying Classroom curriculum, which is aligned to the National Common Core Standards and Next Generation Science Standards, will also study STEM+ subjects relevant to each expedition as they track the Flying Classroom team.
All visitors to the site can access Irving’s travels and meetings with STEM+ experts along the way. In Montana, for example, Captain Irving met a chef with a bionic arm and learned how the human brain can control robotic limbs through the thinking process. In Australia, he illustrated how to balance an ecosystem by eradicating a poisonous toad. In Palau, working with another National Geographic Explorer, he tracked poisonous snakes to extract lifesaving venom. A steady stream of challenges during each journey invited students to solve problems that may lead them to discover a career path in STEM+.
The Flying Classroom is supported by title sponsors Executive Air Services, the Miami-based company that supplied the jet and support personnel, and Houston-based Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., which provided complete trip logistics.
Lex den Herder, Vice President, Government & Industry Affairs for Universal® said, "It was our pleasure to support Barrington’s record-setting flight in 2007, and we are now proud to support him once again as he promotes education via the Flying Classroom around the world."
Other sponsors include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; Clay Lacy Aviation; Jeppesen; FlightSafety International; British Petroleum; Michael Broyard; The Gans Family; and Doug and Kaisa Levine. Educational partners include Skype in the Classroom, the National Education Association, NASA, National Geographic, and United Teachers of Dade.
Through November 18th, follow Captain Irving and his team through expedition updates on their website www.flyingclassroom.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/yourflyingclassroom, on Twitter at @CaptainIrving, and with hashtag #flyingclassroom..