Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Educational Activities

Fun with Hands-on Learning
A young boy enjoys hands-on learning at the "Inventing Flight" Discovery Station at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
The Museum's approach to education encompasses programs for school students, preschoolers, teachers, families, everyday visitors, and groups across the country reached through video and internet broadcasts. The Education Department stresses STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and math), as well as the history of aviation and spaceflight.

In addition to the programs listed here and the Programs section, regular educational activities include telescopic observing; stories and art projects; docent-led tours; hands-on learning at Discovery Stations; classroom learning labs; theater presentations; science demonstrations; and teacher training. Many of the activities are conducted by "Explainers," high school and college students on staff who help visitors better understand the Museum's artifacts and exhibitions through hands-on programming. The Explainers program at the Museum in Washington, DC is generously sponsored by BAE Systems.

The number of people served through these programs is impressive. Overall, the National Air and Space Museum reached 600,000 people with its onsite educational programs in FY2013, and countless more through long-distance learning.

One particularly far-reaching program was, “Student Scientists Connect with ISS Astronauts.” The program linked students from across North America (23 communities from the U.S. and one from Canada) to the National Air and Space Museum and the International Space Station. In addition to the 150+ D.C. Public School students and general public participating at the Museum, approximately 9,500 students joined via live broadcast and webcast.