VPACC is designed as both a capture strategy and a STEAM education resource, requiring and facilitating a broad community ecosystems. It is not a stand-alone program, gone are the days we work alone, the United States STEAM community is a team effort. Our mission is to provide the public and its youth with a set of exciting problems and challenges, in the most creative and immersive setting. Encourage and enable the process of solving those problems, allowing for, and encouraging, self-learning and self-organization as teams or communities of teams.
Those problems or challenges (flight, orbit, in-orbit construction and exploration) translate directly into exciting narratives, in our case exploration and adventure in a complete aerospace setting. VPACC’s simulators and software allow any team of four to create build and fly their own space program. We provide you the ships to sail and the new oceans to explore, however, you need to learn how its done.
We don't teach children how to fly, reach orbit, operate and build in orbit, travel beyond low earth orbit and explore worlds of the inner and outer solar system. We enable the pathways for people figure it out for themselves encouraging them to use all available resources. The critical foundation of a STEAM-education ecosystem is the enabling and nurturing personal curiosity, realities, and interests of the public and youth. In an effective STEAM based ecosystem that includes social networks of family, friends, and teachers (in school and out of school); digital resources, video games, internet search engines, physical resources (i.e., classrooms, after-school programs, libraries).
We at VPACC understand that quality science learning is best supported through this ecosystem approach. Experiences in our advanced spaceflight simulators will inspire engagement in many areas of influence for any given team or team member, including their personal, social, and educational settings. This engagement will further enhance a child’s learning, and interest in learning, in a very broad way - and possibly influence their future in a very positive way, through career choices.
The nature of STEAM education and how children learn is a shifting landscape with unprecedented access to an enormous wealth of science based information 24/7. Learning opportunities stretch well beyond the classroom to include museums, zoos, science centers, and nature centers, hobby groups, the internet, and social media. Together, they can be referred to as a learning ecosystem, and includes peers and family members. A shift toward this broader range of learning experiences is supported by a new National Research Council Report (2015) which encourages the United States to strive for a community-wide ecosystem approach to STEAM education.
VPACC capture strategy, in its most basic form, is to capture, nurture and harvest the interest of the public. The 'capture' component is the entertainment interface with the public, 'nurture' is the implementation of long term programs and as important as the ideas is our ability to 'harvest' the interest created allowing us to feed the STEAM pipeline. On the back end of our capture strategy are the ecosystems that dovetail with formal and informal education organizations across the country.