Urban Air Integrating STEAM Education Centers
Adding attractions traditionally found inside a science center has allowed Urban Air Adventure Park to grow in new directions. Part of Bedford, Texas-headquartered Unleashed Brands Company, Urban Air opened Snapology education centers in 10 of its family entertainment center (FEC) locations, and more are on the way. Snapology gives kids the opportunity to learn through play using STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) programs. Guests can book Snapology classes and camps online or enroll in its membership program. Funworld spoke with Jay Thomas, Urban Air brand president and CEO, about this unique move.
What inspired the decision to include Snapology STEAM centers in Urban Air locations?
In Urban Air Adventure Parks, kids grow in their self-confidence by celebrating success, developing their social skills, and escaping the hardships of life. STEAM centers inside Urban Air parks offer both guests and franchisees the value and convenience of an environment where kids in the local community can learn, play, and grow.
What made you confident that families coming to play in Urban Air Adventure Parks would want to use a STEAM education center?
Parents want their kids to have fun and grow to be successful in life. Opening a Snapology inside of an Urban Air gives us the opportunity to make an even larger positive impact in the developmental years of a child, allowing kids to be truly all they can be.
What was involved for Urban Air to integrate the Snapology STEAM centers, and how much space do they occupy?
Both the Urban Air and Snapology teams collaborated on the best product offering for Snapology inside an Urban Air park. Urban Air has rooms to host birthday parties, and one of the rooms has been converted into a Snapology classroom. The experience is noticeably different the second you set foot into one of the STEAM centers—it features Snapology branding, materials to run the classes, and even environmental cues with gears on the wall decals.
Specifically, what do these Snapology education areas offer in the way of activities and learning?
Kids have so much fun in the classes and camp activities that they don’t even realize they’re learning STEAM concepts. When children are actively engaged in hands-on, interactive learning activities, their creativity flourishes, and they show a greater interest in school. While the kids are having fun with familiar toys, laptops, and iPads, Snapology integrates educational concepts using Lego bricks, K’Nex, and technology throughout the process so the kids can truly learn through play.
How have parents reacted to the Snapology STEAM centers in the Urban Air locations that have opened them?
The parents and kids have all made statements that they can’t wait to come back again. They’re grateful this program exists. Nowadays, parents are looking for experiences that can help their children grow and learn, rather than just traditional toys. Adding these STEAM-based programs allows us to hit on not only the playing aspect, but also allows kids to expand.