Video Conferencing

Students can interact with the National Air and Space Museum without leaving the classroom! We offer interactive videoconferencing programs featuring the staff and docent volunteers. Use of our unique collection and the universally engaging nature of aviation and space make these programs relevant and exciting. These interactive electronic experiences augment teacher lesson plans and correspond to national education standards. The programs are broadcast over the internet and require the use of videoconference equipment or a webcam set-up with a high speed broad band internet connection at the school. Please check with your technical staff to make certain that you can receive videoconference or internet webcam calls.

Educational Videoconferencing Programs

Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. flag on the Moon

Apollo to the Moon
(Available Thursdays afternoons only)

Audience: Grades 8+
Topics: Science, Social Studies, History

Based on the Milestones of Flight exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, this 45-minute lesson features two-way interactive discussion between students and Museum docents (volunteer tour guides). The docents describe major achievements that enabled travel to the Moon, and identify obstacles and problems encountered in placing a person on the lunar surface and returning safely back to Earth. The use of space artifacts, photos, NASA images, and thought-provoking questions for the students enhance the experience. The lesson concludes by asking students to consider problems associated with returning to the Moon and eventually going to Mars. Relevant classroom activities for use prior to the program are available below. A pre-lesson videoconference with the teacher is a participation requirement.

Pre-Read and Classroom Materials:

1899 Wright Kite (reproduction)

Kites, Wings and Flying Things
(Availaible Tuesdays only)

Audience: Grades 3-5
Topics: Science, Social Studies

This 30-minute program, featuring Museum educator Elizabeth Wilson, explores some of the ideas and concepts the Wright brothers used to create their 1903 Flyer. Students actively participate in comparing the materials and control systems of kites with the 1903 Flyer, as well as learn about airfoils and how they create lift. Students learn through inquiry and first-hand observations of the original 1903 Flyer on display at the Museum in Washington, DC. Materials and classroom activities for use prior to the program are provided. A pre-lesson videoconference with the teacher is a participation requirement.

P-V Engineering Forum PV-2

Helicopters, Straight Up!
Coming soon!

Audience: Grades 5-11
Topics: Science, History

This 30-minute program, presented at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center explores the difference between airplane and helicopters and looks at how helicopters are able to maneuver in ways that airplanes can't. Students actively participate in exploring the systems used to control helicopters, and learn about airfoils and how they create lift. Students learn through inquiry and first-hand observations of helicopters on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Materials and classroom activities for use prior to the program are provided. A pre-lesson videoconference with the teacher is a participation requirement.

1903 Wright Flyer First Flight, Kitty Hawk, N.C.

Inventing the Airplane
Coming soon!

Audience: Grades 4-7 (primary target grade 5)
Topics: Science, Social Studies, History

In this 30-minute program, Museum staff members help students explore some of the ideas and concepts the Wright brothers used to invent the airplane. Students actively participate in comparing the materials and control systems of the Wrights' airplanes. They also learn about airfoils and how they create lift. Participants use their inquiry skills to make first-hand observations of the reproduction 1911 Wright Model B which is on display at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. In preparation for the lesson teachers are encouraged to have students cut slips of paper the size of a US dollar bill. Suggested classroom activities for use prior to and after the program are included in the How Things Fly teaching poster.

A pre-lesson videoconference with the teacher is a participation requirement.

Dressing for Space
(Available Tuesdays and Wednesdays only)

Audience: Pre-Kindergarten-3rd Grade
Topics: Science

This program originates from the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. This highly engaging 35-minute lesson features enthusiastic Museum staff along with their puppet friends "Sunny the Sun" and "Astronaut Bob" who interact with students to learn about dressing for space.

With the use of a spacesuit, puppets, and several other props, students learn where space is, who travels to space, and what space has and doesn't have. This lesson also describes the challenges that astronauts face in getting dressed for space, as well as some of the features of the spacesuit.

The lesson includes opportunities for students to ask questions and participate in an interactive sing-a-long.

Lesson Objectives:

  • List what they could find at the National Air and Space Museum
  • Explain where space is
  • Explain if there is air in space
  • Describe why it is necessary for an astronaut to wear a space suit in space
  • Know the number of layers in a spacesuit
  • Tell about micrometeoroids

Please note: Videoconference reservations must be made one month in advance. Registrants are required to participate in a pre-lesson videoconference which will be scheduled no less than one week prior to the date of the videoconference lesson with the students. This will provide a "getting-to-know-you" opportunity for lesson presenters and the teacher(s) who will participate in the videoconference lesson.