To: Michael Green
From: Deb Kernen
Date: November 4, 2015
Re: November Special Services Monthly Update
Partners in Transition-PIT Program-18-21 year old program
On 10/9/15 the PIT program visited a new car museum called World of Speed. This museum covers the history of racing from the early years until present day. In preparation for the day the students used google map to plot the course, figured the miles, cost of gas and then established how much time would be needed for travel and the museum. Once the planning was done each student wrote a journal about what they were looking forward to seeing and what types of cars they expected to see. It is clear that a lot of student learning occurs before the actual event!
Once at the museum, the students were guided through the museum by a docent and gained knowledge from him on conception, design and ultimately the art of racing. Students were able to compare engine sizes, body styles, horsepower, technology improvements as well as different types of race tracks.
While at the museum the students had 2 opportunities at hands on activities. The first activity was a simulation of a starting line for a drag strip (known as the Christmas tree). Two students were seated side by side in a drag car and had to follow the lighting system to get the fastest start. Their responses were timed and they could see if they false started or not. There was great competition to see who could get the fastest time (spoiler alert, it was not me). Students with video game experience tended to have really good reactions.
The second experience really made a lasting impression on all of them! They were given the opportunity to drive race car simulators. These simulators were either actual race cars or used as simulators for the race drivers. The students chose from a 1962 Lotus, an Indy car or a NASCAR. Each car had a 180 degree screen and corresponding gear and race sounds. Students were instructed on steering, scrubbing in the tires, how and when to use the brakes and looking ahead on the track, lap times and speed were recorded.
Most of the students have not had driving experience so it was very exciting to see them in a novel situation. They applied new information into a very complex situation. The gentleman that operated the simulator was very impressed with how well the students handled themselves and noted that two of the students demonstrated a high level of skill.
When a field trip is planned you plan for specific learning that will occur from the new information presented or observed. This trip went above and beyond expectations for learning and inspired two students to delve deeper into the possibility of acquiring their driver license. One student requested some curriculum that he could use to study with and another had the teacher talk with their care giver about some driving practice.
For our program, finding real life learning and experiences within the community encourages and inspires them to try new things and gain new and valuable skills!