As part of the Smithsonian’s Heritage and History education initiative, the National Air and Space Museum presents a “Heritage Family Day” series celebrating ethnic and cultural diversity. The series coincides with national observances, focusing specifically on the contributions that diverse communities have made to aviation and space exploration. These activity-filled days, which take place at the National Mall building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., offer parents and children the opportunity to meet role models—ranging from World War II veterans to astronomers. Support for the “Heritage Family Day” series is provided by Northrop Grumman Corporation.
"The museum’s dual mission, in history and science, come together in the ‘Heritage Family Day’ series,” said Maureen Kerr, education chair at the National Air and Space Museum. “The programs feature inspiring role models who have helped make history by their achievements in aviation and spaceflight.”
“Northrop Grumman is proud to sponsor the ‘Heritage Family Day’ series for the eighth consecutive year at the National Air and Space Museum,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president, Corporate Responsibility, Northrop Grumman Corporation. “We are excited to support this series because it recognizes the unsung heroes of STEM and is an incredible benefit to the community’s schools and families.”
The 2013 series begins Feb. 9 at the museum’s National Mall building with “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day,” where visitors will have the chance to meet members of the Tuskegee Airmen, African Americans who fought during WWII, and be inspired by their determination and perseverance. On Feb. 23, the second “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day” will be held at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
On March 23, “Kites of Asia Day,” visitors to the National Mall building will experience the beauty of kites by celebrating the first aviation-related objects collected by the Smithsonian—two Chinese kites. There will be indoor kite flying, and experts will explain how kites influenced the development of aviation and the science behind kite flying. Visitors can decorate and build their own kites.
Also March 23, the “Women in Aviation and Space Day” will take place at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Visitors will learn about the accomplishments of women in aviation, science and aerospace. Families can enjoy guest speakers, hands-on activities, a theatrical presentation and more.
“Explore the Universe Day” will take place at the National Mall building June 1. Astronomy will serve as a common theme for visitors to learn how different people and cultures view and talk about the sky. The museum’s Public Observatory will be open for daytime sky-watching, weather permitting.
There will be two “Heritage Family Days” in September: “A Century of Women in Aerospace” at the National Mall building Sept. 14 and “Hispanic Heritage Day: Innovators in Air and Space” in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center Sept. 21 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.
The last “Heritage Family Day” of the 2013 series will be Oct. 5 at the National Mall building and will also celebrate Hispanic Heritage in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Latino Center. There will be bilingual programming and visitors will have the chance to meet Hispanic scientists and engineers.
For more information about the museum’s “Heritage Family Day” series, visit: http://airandspace.si.edu/heritage-days.
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.