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Museum conducts workshops, prepares for 'back to school'

  • Published
  • By Judith Wehn
  • National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Back to school planning begins each summer. Teaching teachers and other aerospace education instructors provides a unique opportunity to extend the museum's outreach efforts.

This summer, the museum staff conducted presentations for the STEM-ulate Your Mind Aerospace Engineering Teacher Workshop. This week-long workshop was developed in partnership with Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate, WPAFB Educational Outreach, the Dayton Regional STEM Center, the National Museum of the USAF and many other supporting organizations. The museum's presentations focused on providing hands-on inquiry-based lessons with an emphasis on STEM content for middle school and high school teachers.

In addition, the museum once again hosted and conducted presentations for the Great Lakes Regional Aerospace Education Officers School. This school provides Civil Air Patrol (CAP) members the opportunity to learn about roles, responsibilities, hands on aerospace education activities, as well as aerospace education programs available to CAP members, schools and the local community. Some of the offerings include Robotics, Satellite Imagery and the Model Aircraft Program.

Registration is now open for the 2012-2013 school year. The museum offers a variety of programs, including traditional guided tours, informational scavenger hunts, and hands-on, inquiry-based programs. They meet national and Ohio state academic content standards, are multi-disciplinary with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) emphasis and offered for grades 2-12. Most programs are free and available as outreach into local schools. They include topics about flight, space, and various aspects of Air Force history. Special programs this fall include Home School Day on Oct. 1, Kite Day on Oct. 12, and Wright Brothers Day on Dec. 12.

The staff has also developed new curricular resources including lesson plans and materials about Cold War Propaganda, Cuban Missile Crisis, Satellites, Aircraft Design Challenge, Neutral Buoyancy and Space Food. These are available through the museum's website, (, and new lessons are being developed to complement the planned exhibits for the Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer.

Note: This article originally appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Friends Journal. To receive the Journal and other benefits, become a member of the Air Force Museum Foundation.