The method I have used in our science projects about aviation consist in using the aviation technology as a platform to connect different fields of knowledge.
This interdisciplinary learning method can help children to see the meaningful connections that exist among the many disciplines. Interdisciplinary instruction capitalizes on natural and logical connections that cut across content areas and is organized around questions, themes, problems, or projects rather than along traditional subject-matter boundaries. Such instruction is likely to be responsive to children's curiosity and questions about real life and to result in productive learning. Major concepts and methods from the various disciplines can be taught as part of integrated units and at times that are appropriate to students' interests and cognitive and social development.
I believe that an interdisciplinary education method which draws from the knowledge and processes of multiple disciplines will encourage students of all ages to become active learners equipped with the analytically, interpretative, and evaluative skills needed to solve real-life problems. Eliminating artificial barriers among subject areas gives students a broader context for solving real-life problems.
Aviation For Kids initial goals were to motivate kids into learning math and science through flight technology.Building this web site I realized that not only are math and science connected with aviation but many other fields as well.
For example during a project about ornithopters ( Dragonfly )I had an idea for a page related to history and art through the work of Leonardo Da Vinci. His plans for a human powered flying machine were a perfect pretext for new projects.
The history page opened the door for studying the famous drawings from the Nasca desert so my son and I took a virtual flight there with Google Earth flight simulator, starting from the Buenos Aires airport. An excellent moment to learn geography and navigation.
The work of Leonardo Da Vinci was also the starting point in the study of art. I explained to George how different people had different methods to express themselves,to represent artistically the world around them and I have challenged him to make a painting about flight.
I told him that he does not necessarily have to draw a bird or a plane but he can attempt to describe visually a motion as well. He was a little confused at that point but he understood quickly when I asked him to draw my fingers while I was shaking my hand.
You have probably guessed that this was the moment when I introduced some fundamentals of optics.
Next, we talked about the anatomy of the eye and about the way our brain receive and process information.
You might think that this is to much for a kid of 8 years old but, as a parent, I have learned pretty fast not to underestimate a child. Kids are perfect salesmen (they know instinctively how to “push your buttons” when they want a new toy) .Why should they have big problems in working with ideas and concepts that are usually taught much later.
If you can find a “good package” and good timing, you will be surprised by the results. Your goal is not to create a little genius, but to make your child understand that everything is connected and to ignite his passion for interdisciplinary learning.
As this web site expands into new directions,I would like to hear your opinions about its content and about interdisciplinary learning. You are more than welcome to send me your feedback and share your experience with other visitors.