Today's Hours: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway Chantilly, Virginia 20151
These free inquiry-based programs are based on the collections of the National Air and Space Museum and the National Standards of Learning. Teachers use a combination of demonstrations, experiments, and hands-on activities to assist in the learning process.
Location: Claude Moore Education Center at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Availability: Tuesday through Friday
Duration: 60 minutes, unless otherwise specified.
The ongoing Voyager mission launched in 1977 and the current Mars rover missions have continued to redefine our understanding of our solar system. Students will follow a story of space exploration and discovery through the eyes of Voyager, Anita the spider, and the Mars rover Sojourner. They will learn how scientific research teaches us about other planets. Students will create an updated version of Voyager's "golden record," sending out a greeting from the people of Earth.
The first successful flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 inspired future generations to learn how airplanes fly. This class will follow the story of a young student on an airplane ride who learns about the four forces of flight, the basic parts of an airplane, and how they allow for controlled flight. Students will participate in hands-on activities to show what they have learned.
The Moon has fascinated people throughout time. The Apollo 11 mission in 1969 was the first time humans set foot on a celestial body. Through vivid images and hands-on activities, students will explore the phases of the Moon, its relationship to Earth, and the story of the Apollo missions. They will discuss the science of landing humans on the Moon and the challenge of its lifeless environment. Students will work as mission design teams to create a habitat that could support human life on the Moon.
How do airplanes fly? Using paper airplanes and scientific methods, students will explore the relationship between an airplane's center of gravity and flight stability. They will make and test their paper airplanes, collect and graph their findings, and reach conclusions on how to improve their designs.
How is the environment in space different from Earth? How did rocket science take the shuttle into space? How have humans managed to live and work in space? Students will explore these questions through a series of hands-on activities.
The first successful flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 inspired future generations to learn more about the forces of flight. Students will discover these forces — weight, lift, thrust, and drag. Demonstrations and activities will bring to life the principles of gravity, air pressure, and air resistance, as well as Newton's Third Law. Students will work in groups to design, build, and test a simple propeller using the scientific inquiry model.
From Mariner's first pictures of Mars in 1964 to Curiosity's landing in August 2012, humans have been on a quest to learn about the Red Planet. Students will explore the climate and geology of Mars, along with the challenges of robotic exploration in space. They will work as mission design teams and use budget and science guidelines from NASA to create a spacecraft to fly to Mars.