Youth all over the country will be heading back to school in the next few weeks, and for many young students at Shaler Elementary School, excitement about one of the building’s classrooms in particular is sure to abound. The one-of-a-kind IKS Titan classroom at Shaler is sure to excite just about anyone who passes through its “airlock”–a re-purposed, old dark room door. Behind that door lies a futuristic, hands-on classroom that launches teams of students across space, inside the human body, deep under the sea or through the annals of history, on missions that require intense teamwork and collaborative problem solving.

A project of Dream Flight Adventures, the IKS Titan classroom has been a massive hit at Shaler, engaging students as active participants in their learning experiences. They don’t just learn about the role of white blood cells in destroying sickness–they learn how it happens as they fight alongside them. They explore the oceans and the outer reaches of space, and when they return to their traditional classrooms, the lessons they’ve learned during Titan simulations bring their textbooks and lectures to life. Not only that, but the lessons in teamwork they learn are also second to none: no single student can run the Titan classroom. It takes a team of at least six students to man the sixteen stations, and if the team doesn’t band together, the missions will inevitably end in failure. IKS Titan truly is a fantastic tool for the high-stakes, meaningful, active learning that can make such a lasting impression on our youth.