Curiosity and Connection -
Bringing Stories to Life

Posted by Adam Trosper & Sally Nabors - July 09, 2024


Learning is a complex process and approaches to it can vary. Most often, learning and development programs follow a structured and predetermined path. Learners advance through a curriculum, starting with basic concepts and then gradually move to more advanced topics. However, sometimes the flexibility of non-linear learning is more appropriate… like when creating an experience that centers around human connection and encouraging curious minds to explore.

In 2023, Reflection Software partnered with the Illinois Aviation Museum to develop an interactive kiosk exhibit – Faces of Flight. The goal of the exhibit was to share the inspirational stories of select aviators and showcase the impact that they had on aviation in Illinois and beyond. Within just the small group of pilots participating, there were hundreds of incredible stories, including:

  • A local group who built a working replica of the Wright Brother’s flagship flyer
  • One of the first female Navy fighter pilots
  • A pilot who competed in a race around the world
  • A NASA engineer who helped Apollo astronauts land on the moon

And more!

To bring their stories to life, we realized it would take the right blend of technology, storytelling, and details to satisfy the curiosity of avid aviation fans and still reach the general public.

A first-person conversation approach was used for interviewing the pilots, so it would feel as if they were sitting across from you, telling you their stories firsthand. Our videographers filmed a series of nearly 20 interviews with local pilots – on topics ranging from the path that led them to aviation, to the science of flying, to the future of aviation. To enhance and humanize the experience, we designed the kiosk to be life-sized to mimic a real-life conversation, with minimal use of UI or cutaway footage.


The kiosk was designed for future expansion. Our development team built a custom engine into a 4K touchscreen display. They considered the need for software adaptability to include additional aviation stories as time goes on and integrated features like:

  • Choosing which pilot stories you wish to view
  • Filtering pilots by the topics covered within their stories
  • Closed captioning w/ language selection
  • An interactive glossary of terms to learn more about the aviation industry

True to our expectations, two additional stories have already been added to the kiosk since the original launch.

To further immerse guests in the experience, the touchscreen kiosk was embedded into the fuselage of a replica plane at the Clow International Airport, flanked by display cases featuring a changing array of uniforms and other memorabilia relating to the aviators featured in the exhibit.

Faces of Flight was recognized with an Innovation Award by the Illinois Association of Museums, whose mission is to provide advocacy, promote best practices and foster the exchange of ideas for the Illinois museum community. The exhibit successfully takes a step beyond traditional linear adult learning and delivers a self-paced, exploratory experience resulting in a humanized connection to the aviators and their stories.

Topics: eLearning, Client Partner, Client Spotlight

Recent Posts