The National Flight Academy’s Ambition brings the latest in multisensory media and simulation technologies coupled with dynamic teaching methods into a multi-day science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)-focused educational program for 7th-12th graders. Students can attend immersive three or five day Aviation-in-Residence (AIR) programs where they participate in several simulated flight missions, while learning communication and strategic thinking skills.
“After working alongside the National Flight Academy for over a year, we were extremely proud to be a part of the commissioning ceremony for Ambition,” said Shawn Stafford, Course Director of Research Design in Full Sail University’s Game Design Master of Science degree program. “Through F.I.R.E., we were able to build assets that have a significant impact on the curriculum that is both taught and experienced at the Aviation-in-Residence program.”
Overseeing the digital, animation, and technology aspects of the project, F.I.R.E. developed the digital and animated storytelling assets behind Ambition's flight simulation programs. They were able to tell a story with embedded learning objectives in a visual landscape by utilizing entertainment and gaming technology. Through this method, F.I.R.E was able to make mission execution come to life using realistic simulation and display. The intent is to capture National Flight Academy students’ attention by keeping them engaged in an exclusive and immersive environment.
Established in 2009, Full Sail's Institute for Research in Entertainment provides faculty members and students with the opportunity to work collaboratively on research projects for professional organizations and companies. Currently, F.I.R.E. is comprised of roughly a dozen faculty members and includes a constant, yet ever-changing rotation of about 30 high performing students who are nominated for participation in F.I.R.E. by other faculty members.
F.I.R.E. has worked with all branches of the Armed Services as well as companies including Design Interactive, RSK Assessments, and TEQGames on projects ranging from technology simulation and cognitive battery development to mobile game development and usability testing on novel game concepts. In addition, F.I.R.E. will continue to work with the National Flight Academy on an ongoing basis to develop more content for Ambition.
During the commissioning ceremony, which included appearances by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Eugene Cernan, and Mark Kelly, the National Flight Academy announced plans to distribute a $250,000 scholarship fund made possible by $125,000 matching donations from Full Sail University and the University of Florida which will allow hundreds of students to attend educational programs aboard the Ambition.