Todays guest post is by Melissa Spalding, our Director of Education here at the Museum of Aviation. Enjoy it!
Many will describe the Museum of Aviation as a history museum, an aviation museum… maybe even a pretty cool place to take a field trip. So, why then does the museum offer workshops and camps throughout the year that seem to have nothing to do with airplanes?There are two big reasons why the Museum of Aviation Education Department offers thematic programs like Princess and Pirates camps. First, classes of all themes support our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning objectives. Second, they are hands-on fun!We love to teach about the history of aviation, the physics of flight and show off our great collection of airplanes at the museum, but it is also fun to explore and experiment our way through all areas of the scientific curriculum. Summer is a great time of the year to get creative and study a variety of things like space, the jungle, “grossology,” and places in our nation and around our world. The Princess and Pirate camps are such a fun annual program. Young learners in PreK and Kindergarten work together to investigate, solve puzzles, experiment and discover fun ways to learn. Princesses sort and graph gemstones, count and create patterns with jewelry and have a tea party. Pirates create and follow maps, engineer and build structures and search for lost treasures. There are STEM objectives woven in all areas of the curriculum.
The teachers at the Museum of Aviation work all year to create fun, interactive lessons and experiences for the students. It is no wonder that so many students return often for more programs. By offering programs for students in PreK all the way through adulthood, kids can literally grow up with the Museum of Aviation. The main reason for all those returning students is that they are having a great time! It is fun to learn about technology and engineering when you are involved in a real-world scenario adventure like Air Traffic Control and Mission Quest. It is fun to do math and science when you are wearing goggles and gloves and eager to find out if your “Mad Scientist” mixture matches your hypothesis.So whether it is the Crime Lab Camp, the Princess Camp or the Pirate Camp, students can visit a world-class aviation museum while being educated and entertained in STEM objectives. Being surrounded by awesome exhibits and aircraft is the bonus!