Kids Use X-Plane To Learn Science

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A new program offered by Build A Plane and Fly To Learn aims to help kids learn about science, technology, engineering, and math by building and flying virtual aircraft using X-Plane flight simulator software. "Not every school can or wants to build a real airplane," said Lyn Freeman, founder of Build A Plane, "but now everybody can build an airplane virtually, thanks to our new partnership with Fly To Learn." Fly To Learn has developed a curriculum that uses X-Plane to teach kids the basics of aviation and help them design and fly their own simulated aircraft. The groups plan to develop a nationwide competition with a "virtual fly-off."

The X-Plane software and curriculum materials for up to 20 students are available to schools for about $400 per year. The program is designed to complement national STEM standards that are now in development. "X-Plane is a great learning experience because the software is sensitive to things like center of gravity, induced drag, angle of incidence and more," said Thomas Dubick, of Fly To Learn. "Students experience strong academic rigor by designing, flying, and analyzing the results of their modifications to virtual aircraft." The program is for middle schoolers, but versions for elementary and high school are also in the works.