Most people can look back and reminisce about a school outing that blew them away.
One that took you out of the four walls of the classroom and pushed you out of your comfort zone into the world where the theoretical curriculum turned into a real-life experience!
Teachers want to recreate this for their classroom, however, feel caught between having to appease too many people. It’s a tricky task ticking all the boxes while making sure the excursion is cost-effective and fun enough for the class to get excited!
It can feel like a balancing act that’s impossible to win. We recently caught up with Katelyn Sultana, an indoor skydiving educational package organiser and former teacher, to talk about the challenges teachers face and how she’s developed excursions to overcome them.
What kind of groups do you cater for?
We cater for groups of all sizes, ranging from as little as 15 – 20 students, right through to larger groups that of 260 students! We have packages for all ages and levels of learning.
As a teacher wanting to make sure they have all bases covered, what kind of questions are you usually asked?
The main question we get asked is what’s involved in indoor skydiving? I will tell them the flights are about a minute long, the time a real skydive freefall would last. Believe us when we say time stands still once you’re inside the tunnel!
What is involved in the lesson plan is the critical piece of information that you need to make a decision.We cover Math, Science, physics, engineering & PDHPE. We design lessons to the teacher’s criteria and previous understanding of the subjects so that the students can apply their theoretical learning and get the maximum benefit out of the day.
What will they do while not flying?
A lot of teachers are concerned the kids will be bored whilst waiting for their turn to fly. We can organise second lesson plans while they wait, as well as other nearby activities. .
However, we find they love watching their friends fly and are captivated taking plenty of pictures.
What is the usual checklist of requirements a teacher has for an excursion? How do you meet these?
As fun as flying is on the day, I understand from my experience how many hoops a teacher has to jump through to find the perfect place that ticks everything on the checklist.
Firstly how does it fit into your curriculum? How can you justify going if the material has no relation to anything you’ve been teaching during the year. We work with the teachers to make sure that what we are demonstrating on the day matches what they have been learning in the classroom, and reinforces all the theory with real-life examples.
Secondly, you need to be able to sell it to the principle. Is spending this money worth the educational benefits? Our packages are very cost effective, some of the schools that approach us have kids that come from different economic statuses. We get a lot of interest in our Educational packages as it is very affordable compared with other comparable school excursions
As a former teacher yourself, how do you see the education programme we run here?
We are always improving/developing the lessons, seeing what works with the kids. What works with older kids and what works with younger children will be different. We like to see them forget they are learning.
Can you walk us through what happens on a typical excursion from start to finish?
After arriving, checking out what a wind tunnel is and (hopefully) seeing someone fly, the students head in for a 45-minute interactive lesson covering: gravity, force & drag. We experiment with different sized balls & vortexes to test how they react in the tunnel. We also review footage of real skydiving vs. flying in the facility to show how these principles apply in everyday life, which is a criterion that all teachers need covering.
What’s the best way a teacher can get value out of the day?
We send teachers the lesson plan early, so they can prepare and incorporate our program into their lessons in the classroom. There is always room to go deeper and get more involved and we’re here to help with that every step of the way.
How can a teacher find out more information?More information can be found on this website or by e-mailing your local facility