An International Preschool-Grade 12 Academy 

GEMS science students take Field Study to O'Hare

More than 50 GEMS World Academy Chicago science students got a rare chance to take a close look at the aircraft, facilities and systems at O’Hare International Airport.

The students, who were in the seventh and ninth grades, embarked on the O’Hare Field Study as part of their exploration of aerodynamics and other principles of physics. The students visited a hangar, where they were able to examine a prototype airplane made from plastics. They also spent time in a control tower, watched as technicians performed safety checks on an airplane and observed numerous other airline services.

The visit was hosted by American Airlines, which made its team members available to talk to our students. The visit was featured in the airline’s newsletter.

“It exceeded my expectations,” Dr. Shannon Hurst, science teacher at GEMS, said about the Field Study. “I think all the students were amazed by the systems in place — the number of variables involved in getting planes to fly and land safely. It was impressive.”

The Field Studies program at GEMS World Academy Chicago transforms the city of Chicago into a mobile-learning laboratory. Students at every grade level regularly explore all corners of the city as scientists, engineers, historians, journalists and artists.

Dr. Hurst said the Field Study to O’Hare was a great example of how important it is for students to talk to real working professionals out in the field.

“I’m really happy that our female-identifying students, in particular, got a chance to talk to a pilot and other professionals,” Dr. Hurst said. “They can see the kinds of opportunities that exist for them in the science world. I’m very grateful to O’Hare and American Airlines for giving us this opportunity; it’s something I hope we can do again next year.”

GEMS World Academy Chicago is an International Baccalaureate World School and an Apple Distinguished School serving students in preschool through high school.


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