‘Flying Classroom’ Circles The Pacific

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Cane toads in Darwin

Barrington Irving, leader of the nonprofit group Experience Aviation, is more than halfway through a circum-Pacific flight that is bringing the world into classrooms around the country, as seen from a Hawker 400XP jet. “The reason why we’re doing this,” Irving said, in a recent interview with AVweb from his hotel room in Darwin, Australia, “is to bring aviation directly into the classroom. … We’re very happy with the results we’re getting.” Since launching from Washington, D.C., in September, Irving has flown across the U.S, through Alaska and Russia, and along the Pacific coast of Asia to his southernmost stop, in Sydney. At every stop, he and his crew have been visiting with local scientists and others to bring lessons to students who are following the trip online.

Australia

In Darwin, Irving taught his followers about crocodiles, and in Bali, the team spent a day scuba diving to help local advocates build artificial reefs. At other stops, Irving and his team have hosted lessons about bionic technology, aerobatic flying, poisonous snakes, and more. Irving, who has been named an “emerging explorer” by the National Geographic Society, connects with other NGS scientists in the field to explain their work to his audience. Students can follow along online at FlyingClassroom.com. The trip is funded by a wide range of industry sponsors, and the jet is on loan from Executive Aircraft Services, based in Florida.

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