Dynamite Room

An Enhanced Training Experience
Traditional + Non-Traditional = Dynamite Learning

Following two years of amazing effort by the N85 Aerospace Club, Alexandria Field now offers a unique educational tool called the Dynamite Room. This small space provides powerful Traditional and Non-Traditional (TNT) learning opportunities:

–  For student and private pilots, traditional flight training curricula enhanced by experiential ground instruction; and,
–  For school students and teachers, non-traditional STEM education through the lens of aviation.

The Traditional Use

Alexandria Field has been training pilots for more than 70 years. With enhanced visuals and training techniques designed to reinforce correct procedures and build proper muscle memory, our Dynamite Room takes armchair flying to a whole new level.

Rather than having to operate under often demanding real-time flight conditions, the learner’s ability sets the pace in the Dynamite Room. Virtual training sessions can be slowed down or even paused to allow better interaction between learner and instructor. This can make in-airplane training sessions more efficient and satisfying.

Bad weather or airplane unavailable? Until you can get airborne again, stay on track by taking advantage of the many training options available in the Dynamite Room. Competent enough for deep practice in the Dynamite Room by yourself? Go ahead!

The Dynamite Room not only makes ground instruction more meaningful and enjoyable, but it also can be used as a career awareness tool. Thinking about becoming a commercial or airline pilot? Enter the Dynamite Room for a glimpse into the advanced training required. Already know you want to fly for the airlines? Flight simulators are an integral part of recurrent training for airline pilots. Get a step ahead of other applicants with exposure to the Dynamite Room early and often while training for your airline career.

The Non-Traditional Use

Key to preserving small airports is finding non-traditional uses that increase the economic and social impacts these airports have on their communities. Inspired by Disney Imagineering concepts, the Dynamite Room was designed to pique curiosity. The engaging environment triggers the imagination and a sense of adventure that promote a growth mindset and a love for new learning.

The Dynamite Room is an example of how to inspire students to “learn by doing”.  The space is immersive, interactive and results can be measured.  The back half of the space allows students to handle historical aviation related items.  The facilitator can then ask questions like: What is this?  How do you suppose it was used? What type of thinking was required for its development? The room encourages students to dig deeper to find answers by suggesting they research their own inquiring questions then share the answers.  Learners can be exposed to myriad facets of the Dynamite Room for rich, personal learning experiences that include:

-Gaming with a purpose (flight instruction software)
-Exploring design, construction, operation, and maintenance details of the room and its components
-Experiencing aviation instruments, clothing, and materials
-Discussing the historical significance of artifacts in the room
-Inspiring knowledge of the people in our local aviation history
-Understanding the process of deep practice by doing it

The Dynamite Room can be integrated with aviation camps, airport tours, living labs, workshops, and other outreach programs as described below.  It can be the star of standalone programs targeting specific segments of the community as well.

“Cleared for Takeoff” Aviation Camp – what sets this camp apart from many around the country is its philosophy, facilities and in depth STEM based experiments.  Of course the traditional look at careers in aviation is a part of the curriculum however the activities go far beyond providing role models and building balsa aircraft.  Personal growth in leadership skills are reflected in group interaction programming. Student journals allow opportunity each day to reflect on what was done from an educational point of view as well as how the student might improve their understanding and performance.  The Dynamite Room is an experience for the campers.  They are exposed to the “game” aspect as well as the knowledge required to build such a location and maintain its operation.  The back half of the room is dedicated to inspiring the students to go deeper into the history of aviation from what they know about it today.  Cockpit instruments, pilot clothing, aircraft construction materials and the use of their imaginations make a trip to this room a total personal learning experience.

N85 Aerospace Club – several companies make flight simulators that are delivered already put together, and some deliver the boxes and require the students to put them together.  The students within the N85 Aerospace Club decided to accept the challenge of researching flight simulators, creating a schema for its purpose and then setting to work on the budget, materials needed and construction.  The Dynamite Room will continue to grow and change as the club membership turns over from one group to the next.  The pride in being a part of such a challenging project is reflected in growing self-confidence.  Club members can get trained in the use of the simulator program within a stimulating physical environment – not just sit in front of a computer screen on a table in a chair using the keyboard as controls.

Airport Tours – depending on the age of the touring group the room can be a short stop for how it is used in pilot training to a longer lesson with opportunities to “start the engine” and “fly”.  Often discussion revolves around interest in one of the museum components to inspire discussion on the history of aviation.

“Living Labs” Programs – the labs are currently designed for sixth thru eighth graders with opportunity to enhance the STEM theory content to a more difficult level. The current five: Airplanes (What makes and airplane fly?), Rockets (Explore the why and how of rocket science),  Solar Balloons (Fun with the sun), Navigation (Jetstream demonstrates navigation), and Weather (Pilots and weather forecaster have a lot in common).  These labs reach into the community lifting the educational value of the airport to the school system. The public-private partnership allows careers in aviation to be experienced by the students thru the real world lens of a small general aviation airport.

Take Flight Workshops – the workshops are designed for personal empowerment.  The Dynamite Room is included in the ground instruction, practice segment of the 2-day full workshop as preparation for the actual flight in a real aircraft.  The development of one-day empowerment programs will include the room to reinforce the aviation metaphors used in the curriculum.  The success of the workshops has been documented by extensive outside evaluators before, during, and after the workshops.  This non-traditional use of aviation for personal empowerment in a well developed and tested curriculum brings more people under the umbrella – the value of small airports is far greater than teaching people to fly – there is a Flying Effect which can be transitioned to achieving peak performance in everyday life.


-Enhanced Ground School: $15/hr added to the CFI Fee ($40); Solo $25/hr
-Group Class Experience: Pricing determined by time and client purpose

In upgrade process – bigger screens all the way around and NEW full instrument panel – plus instructor screen/panel