Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Digital Outreach and Engagement

Social Media Engagement
The Museum engages audiences through social media every day with educational content, conversation, and special events. The Museum interacts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest, and Google+. The following social media special events took place in 2013:

Suited for Space Social
Pictured here are the Suited for Space Social participants, special guests, and staff.
  • Museum Socials (formerly known as Tweetups)
    The Museum regularly hosts “Social” events. A Social is a public program that gives fans and followers of the Museum's social media channels the opportunity to attend an in-person experience where they can interact with our experts and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the Museum. Participants share their experiences via social media, enriching the educational experience for those who participate online. Each Social in 2013 reached between 1.2 to 1.6 million people and posts related to the events were viewed by 15 to 25 million times per event. The 2013 Socials were:
    • Science on the ISS (partnered with NASA)
    • Star Trek Social (#SIBeamup) 
    • Become A Pilot Day Social (#pilotday13)
    • Suited for Space (#suitedforspace)
    • Leonardo da Vinci's Codex on the Flight of Birds (#LeonardoDC)
  • Reddit "Ask Me Anything" Sessions
    Reddit is an online community where users share and vote on content. Among the programs offered are AMA (Ask Me Anything) online question and answer sessions with experts in their field. Museum experts participated in two AMAs in 2013:
    • The Apollo Program on July 17 - featuring curators Allan Needell and Cathy Lewis, museum specialist Jennifer Levasseur, and museum conservator Lisa Young
    • The Wright brothers on December 11 - featuring chief curator Peter Jakab and senior curator Tom Crouch

Digital Outreach

  • New Website
    In June of 2013, the Museum launched a new National Air and Space Museum website. The site was given an extreme makeover of the content, visual design, and user-experience. Several new and enhanced features were added, including more images and curator narratives about objects and archival collections, more interaction with visitors and experts via social media, and a new “Explore and Learn” section where visitors can explore online content and activities organized around popular aviation and space topics. The website is entirely responsive for easier viewing on mobile devices. After launch, the enhancements continue with newly redesigned online exhibitions, highlighting staff research and online video.
  • Webcasts
    The Museum offers live webcasts of select public programs, which are then archived and available permanently on the Museum’s website. Most lectures as well as educational programs in the Moving Beyond Earth gallery are live webcast.
  • Mobile Experiences
    A mobile experience (website) targeted to onsite visitors provides a quick guide to the objects, exhibitions, and events on view on any given day at the Museum. In 2013, a new “COPILOT” experience was launched, which provides thematic content and access to stories and videos for objects on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center.