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Inspiring young minds is as much a part of the National Museum of the United States Air Force as the proud history of aviation and aerospace technologies it displays. Here, students find a vibrant, applied environment filled with real life examples of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in action. These STEM initiatives offer tremendous potential to help develop the workforce of the future.
ENABLING STEM EDUCATION TODAY
Through the Museum’s informal and formal learning opportunities, students deepen their understanding of fundamental math and science concepts. Surrounded by authentic artifacts, they are inspired by the aviation accomplishments of prior generations.
School Programs: School Visits, Hands-On Workshops, Home School Days, specialized aerospace programs, Read Across America, Aviation Art Competition, and Professional Development for Teachers
Public Programs: Group Visits, Family Days, and Aerospace Camps for Youth
Online Resources: Museum Virtual Tour, Resource Guides, and Lesson Plans for Teachers
Inquiry-based Learning Aligned with National Academic Content Standards: School programs are developed in collaboration with teachers and meet national academic content standards. Hands-on workshops promote scientific inquiry, modeling how scientists conduct their work while developing students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills.
EXPANDING STEM OPPORTUNITIES TOMORROW
STEM Learning in the Fourth Building
As the Museum expands, there will be unprecedented opportunities for new educational experiences in STEM.
Space Gallery—Students will explore the design and operation of vehicles that perform in rocket-powered subsonic, supersonic, and hypersonic flight regimes, and then in gliding flight; the integration of payload capabilities; the human factors of sustained duration space flight; the advanced guidance and control of space vehicles, and more.
Presidential Aircraft Gallery—Students will explore the history of how the USAF provided presidential and other VIP transport, the design and operation of complex communication systems, enhanced features for safety and reliability, special features for long duration travel, and more.
Global Reach Gallery—Students will explore the global projection of air power for all levels of conflict and for humanitarian relief to include large airlift aircraft, aerial refueling, and long-range command and control.
New Interactive Learning Nodes
In the new building, “Learning Nodes” – one in each gallery – will provide dedicated high tech space for lectures, demonstrations, and multimedia presentations in the midst of large aircraft and space vehicles. Museum staff will facilitate new STEM experiences, while guest scientists from USAF organizations, the aerospace industry, and area colleges and universities will be invited to share their expertise.
Distinct STEM Experiences for K-12 Students and Teachers
Learning Nodes will create a rich environment for students and teachers. Through media-enhanced inquiry, students will become scientists and engineers exploring real-world problems. Professional development workshops will help teachers integrate new aerospace experiences into their curriculum, while deepening their understanding of technology.
Expanded STEM Programs and Specialty Tours
Hands-on programs and specialty tours, on topics such as space flight and aerial transportation, will be developed for school groups and incorporated into Home School Days, Family Days, and summer aerospace camps.
International Reach www.nationalmuseum.af.mil
Through the Museum website, access to a variety of educational resources will be available to the K-12 audience. The fourth building exhibits will become part of the virtual online tour, and new Web content will extend the aerospace experience.
Through collaboration with USAF organizations, NASA, and colleges and universities, the Museum is uniquely positioned to access distinct expertise in aerospace technology to support STEM education from the following sources:
|Ohio Department of Education|
|Air Force Materiel Command||Ohio STEM Learning Network|
|Aeronautical Systems Center||Sinclair Community College|
|Air Force Research Laboratory||University of Dayton|
|Air Force Institute of Technology||Wright State University|
|Air Technology Network||Dayton Region STEM Center|
|National Air and Space Intelligence Center||National Aviation Heritage Alliance|
|Wright-Patterson AFB Educational Outreach||National Aeronautics and Space|