NASA Smart Skies Expands Sector 33 App Program
Thursday, August 23, 2012
NATCA strives to educate today's kids about the air traffic control profession in as many ways as possible, one of them being through NASA Smart Skies, a program that supports NATCA's education outreach efforts. NASA Smart Skies encourages middle school students to apply math while sequencing flights just as a controller would. But working with today's fast paced and technological generation, NATCA, the FAA and NASA had to figure out more ways to engage youth.
In January 2012, NASA released a free iPhone and iPad app known as Sector 33. This app unites air traffic control and learning in a challenging mobile game. In the free app, kids put their problem solving and proportional reasoning skills to the test by guiding planes heading to the San Francisco Bay Area through a sector of airspace in Nevada and northern California, the challenge being both to maintain a safe flying distance from other aircraft and to meet the time requirements.
Now with more than one popular smart phone on the market, NASA is developing the app for the Android, which is now underway for testing and will hopefully be available early October.
"Smart Skies itself has three components, Flyby Math and Lineup with Math, both formal classroom products, and now the Sector 33 app, which reaches audiences of all ages" said Rebecca Green, one of the project leads at NASA Ames Research Center. "While the Smart Skies team continues to support and train teachers, our collaboration with the FAA and NATCA to do informal outreach and education activities with these components allows us to reach a much broader audience."
To download the Sector 33 app, please click here.