Discovery Stations encourage informal learning through active looking, discussion, and hands-on activities related to aviation, space exploration, astronomy, and planetary geology. Presented by volunteers or Museum staff, the carts provide interactive fun for all ages. Discovery Stations are presented during regular Museum hours throughout the week and on weekends, but are subject to staff availability. Below are some of the discovery stations you might encounter during your visit.
America by Air: The History of Air Transportation
What was it like for the first air mail pilots in an open cockpit? Why did early stewardesses carry flyswatters? What made the DC-3 such a strong and popular aircraft? Discuss these things and more in a fun demonstration featuring airplanes in our America by Air exhibition.
Living and Working in Space: Human Space Exploration
Share the excitement and wonder of 40 years of humans in space, from the Mercury missions in the 1960s, to the Space Shuttle era and beyond. Hands-on demonstrations include real space artifacts and spacesuits.
Maps, Models, and Measuring Devices: Tools of Astronomy
Astronomers throughout history have used amazing tools to help explain and better understand the universe. Investigate several centuries of astronomical tools including astrolabes, quadrants, and celestial spheres.
As a public health precaution, both of our locations, along with all Smithsonian museums, are temporarily closed. See our message to visitors.