Every year the National Air and Space Museum hosts educational family days where experts who were inspired by their own sense of wonder share their achievements in aviation and spaceflight.
As part of the Smithsonian’s Heritage and History education initiative, the museum will present a “Heritage Family Day” series celebrating ethnic and cultural diversity. The series coincides with national observances, focusing specifically on the contributions that diverse communities have made to aviation and space exploration. These activity-filled days, which will take place at the National Mall building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, offer parents and children the opportunity to meet role models—ranging from World War II pilots to astronomers—who may inspire future generations to consider careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The series opens Feb. 5 at the museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center with “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day,” in which visitors will have the chance to meet members of the Tuskegee Airmen, African American pilots who flew during WWII, and be inspired by their determination and perseverance. On Feb. 12, the second “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day” will be held at the National Mall building.
On March 12, the “Women in Aviation and Space Day” will take place at the Udvar-Hazy Center, and visitors will learn about the accomplishments of women in aviation, science and aerospace. This program is presented in partnership with the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, and visitors will be able to view science projects by local Girl Scout troops.
On March 19, “Kites of Asia Day,” visitors will experience the beauty and artistry of kites across Asia—from Afghanistan to Vietnam—at the National Mall building. There will be demonstrations of a variety of kites, and curators will explain how these influenced the development of aviation, as well as the science behind kite flying. Visitors can decorate and build their own kites.
“Explore the Universe Day” will take place at the National Mall building April 16. Astronomy will serve as a common theme for visitors to learn how different people and cultures view and talk about the sky. Visitors will build their own astrolabe and pocket solar clock.
During National Aerospace Week, Sept. 11-17, there will be two Heritage Family Days: “Hispanic Heritage Day” in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center Friday, Sept. 16, at the Udvar-Hazy Center and “A Century of Women in Aerospace” at the National Mall building Saturday, Sept. 17.
The last “Heritage Family Day” of the 2011 series will be Oct. 15 at the National Mall building and will celebrate Hispanic Heritage in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Latino Center. There will be bilingual programming and visitors will have the chance to meet Hispanic aerospace professionals.
For more information about the museum’s “Heritage Family Day” series, visit the website.
Posted: 28 January 2011