A variety of free and low-cost educational programs at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, will help parents, students and educators find fun and exciting learning opportunities focusing on science, technology, engineering and math, as well as social studies, literature and art.
On May 4, the museum will once again offer Space Fest, with a multitude of exciting space-related activities taking place throughout the day and into the evening. The Dayton Challenger Learning Center and several other organizations will participate in this exciting event, featuring astronaut presentations, a sneak peek into the shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer, hands-on activities and demonstration stations, a Star-Gaze with telescopes (weather permitting), a 5K fun run and much more.
During the popular – and free – Family Days, offered every month except December, visitors of all ages can participate in hands-on demonstrations focusing on fun and basic aerospace principles. Activities include walk-in workshops such as building and flying a kite, storytimes with aerospace themes, and assembly-type programs featuring speakers such as boomerang expert and champion Gary Broadbent.
Home School Days are offered in the spring and fall, featuring workshops, scavenger hunts and other hands-on activities for families with home-schooled children in all grade levels from preschool through high school. In the past, students have learned about gravity while building their own gyrocopters and parachutes and explored buoyancy and density principles while launching six-foot tall tissue paper hot air balloons.
Each summer, the museum’s Aerospace Camps teach STEM-based aerospace principles to students in grades 2-9. These five low-cost, week-long camps focus on different topics for each age group, including rocketry, science and math activities, and even literature-based programs for younger students.
For parents and educators looking for activities to use at home and in the classroom, lesson plans and resource guides can be downloaded from the museum’s website. Other online highlights include interactive programs as well as aerospace-themed word searches and coloring pages.
To learn more about educational in-house and outreach school and youth group programs, as well as other activities at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, please visit http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/education/index.asp.
Additionally, those who want to learn more about Air Force history can bring the museum to their home or classroom through a new virtual tour that offers 360-degree views of the museum’s galleries, with links to bonus materials such as online resources, audio and video. Visit http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/virtualtour/index.asp to access this tour.
The National Museum of the United States Air Force is located on Springfield Street, six miles northeast of downtown Dayton. It is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day). Admission and parking are free. For more information about the museum, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.