Andromeda Galaxy

Soar Together: Science Fiction

Soar Together @ Air and Space: Science Fiction
January 15 and 16, 2021

In January, our monthly family program at the National Air and Space Museum will explore science fiction! Discover how imagination and science fiction influences science and technology, while scientific advances fuel futuristic thinking and fantasy. Learners will hear from science fiction and fantasy writers, as well as from our own Museum staff, and have the opportunity to dive into their own writing. Check out our free activities — like digital scavenger hunts and virtual demonstrations — to explore the Museum’s more peculiar objects, examine how differences and diversity are treated in science fiction and how it reflects the real world, and more!

This program is part of the Soar Together @ Air and Space series.

Timed Events

Virtual Scavenger Hunts
Friday, January 15, 1 pm EST
Saturday, January 16, 1 pm EST

In these free virtual scavenger hunts, discover the various aspects of Science Fiction through trivia and activities! This program will utilize the GooseChase app. 

The scavenger hunt on Friday, January 15, will have questions on the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. The NIAC nurtures visionary ideas that could transform the future of space exploration by developing innovative, technically credible, advanced concepts that could one day “change the possible” in aerospace. The scavenger hunt on Saturday, January 16, will include exploration of the general world of science fiction with some great movie trivia and activities. Interested participants can check out the simple steps to participating below.

  1. Download the GooseChase iOS or Android app.
  2. Choose to play as a guest, or register for a personal account with a username and password of your choice.
  3. Search for the scavenger hunt by its game code. The game code for Friday's game is B58ERK, and the game code for Saturday's game is 676RLQ.
  4. Follow the prompts to select or create their team.

Live Chat on the Creation of Science Fiction
Saturday, January 16, 2 pm EST

Fantasy and science fiction authors Christopher Paolini and Charlie Jane Anders join National Air and Space’s curator and chair of the Space History Department Margaret Weitekamp in this live discussion about science fiction writing. Learn about how real science and science fiction affect and inspire each other, and listen in as the authors share tips about writing. Join the live discussion on YouTube, or the National Air and Space Museum Facebook page with audience question and answer time on Saturday, January 16, at 2 pm.

While waiting for the live event, dive deeper into sci-fi writing with Paolini as he discusses his work and important topics in this unique genre. Thanks to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Tor Books for working with the Museum on these science fiction writing discussions. This partnership seeks to inspire young minds to embrace careers in science and technology.

Available Anytime

Available starting January 15 

Who Can Write? YOU Can Write!

ABC's Chief Meteorologist Ginger Zee was a good student but was told at a young age that she wasn't a good writer. She believed it...until she published her first book! If you think you can’t write, check out this story about discovering your personal writing talent!

EdX’s Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology

How did Star Trek change science fiction forever, and why is Star Trek so important to pop culture? 

The National Air and Space Museum has long had an interest in science fiction, the creative visions that help people to visualize new inventions and imagine other worlds. Science fiction takes us to alien worlds and introduces us to other types of worlds and beings. The Star Trek franchise presented an abundance of ways humankind might interact with aliens and different worlds. It demonstrates how science fiction can reflect our present times and highlight societies’ prejudices and acceptances in creative and compelling ways. Passionate about science fiction history and culture? Then tune into edX's Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology course! From Humanity and Discovering Life in the Universe to Aliens Behave Differently, sections of this course include a variety of sci-fi themes. New to edX? The first few visitors to register through the Museum's event registration will receive special course access and a verified certificate!

Artifacts Writing Prompt

As you’ve seen from our authors and our Air and Space team, authors can draw inspiration from anywhere: nature, movies, everyday objects, music and more. So often, science fiction is inspired by both real science and imagination. In the Artifacts Writing Prompt activity, visitors can find their own inspiration from a selected few artifacts from the National Air and Space Museum's collection. Read about what the objects were used for before they were in the Museum, and then see if you can transform their story into something new. Find what inspires you to think like a science fiction author and send your work to our team!

Pluto's Secret Book Talk

In 2007, three staff at the National Air and Space Museum wrote a children’s book together titled, Pluto's Secret! In this special author session, Margaret Weitekamp, David DeVorkin, and Diane Kidd tell tales about the process of creating the award-winning children’s book Pluto's Secret. Hear about how they used their different skills to create a wonderful story that is both fun and educational. Interested in hearing the story? Explore Flights of Fancy Story Time below!

Authors and curators Margaret Weitekamp and David DeVorkin, along with illustrator and museum educator Diane Kidd, talk about the process of creating this picture book that tells the story of the dwarf planet Pluto.

Pluto's Secret Flights of Fancy Story Time

Gather your little ones for story time with the National Air and Space Museum. In this special story time, Margaret will read the story Pluto's Secret, and Diane will demonstrate how she developed the illustrations.

Gather your little ones for story time with the National Air and Space Museum. In this special author session, Margaret Weitekamp, David DeVorkin, and Diane Kidd tell tales about the process of creating the award winning children’s book "Pluto's Secret." Margaret will read the story and Diane will demonstrate how she developed the illustrations.

Soar Together @ Air and Space is made possible by the generous support of

Northrop Grumman