The Education Center at the Museum of Aviation

Did you know that the Museum of Aviation Foundation, Inc. operates the Education Center at the Museum of Aviation?  The Education Center operates 5 major programs, and serves an average of 50,000 students and teachers a year through its hands-on STEM and History focused programs.  Field trips, STEM Labs, Summer Camps, and other educational special events are held throughout the year for participants as young as 4 years old.

The Aviation Heritage Center is home to the Museum’s Guided Tour programs as well as birthday parties, scouts programs, and special history programs like the WWII Outreach program and the GA Studies Tour.  Each year, Ms. James, the history program coordinator, makes a special visit to local retirement centers to spend time with veterans and coordinates many veteran focused tours at the Museum.

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The National STEM Academy operates STEM focused programs for schools and individuals throughout the year.  Programs are offered to Pre K – 12th grade students and vary per theme and grade level.  Computer classes, the Mission Quest Flight Simulation program, ACE, and specialized STEM summer camps are just a few of the offerings each year.  All classes feature hands-on activities for students and promote workforce development opportunities in STEM careers.  Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are always available.

Offering something for everyone is what the Education Center strives for.  With the STEM Training Academy for Teachers (STAT), the Education Center completes the circle, offering classes for adults and educators as well as internship opportunities for college students.  It’s home to Georgia’s NASA Regional Educator Resource Center that holds monthly professional development workshops and offers free resources to teachers for use in their classrooms.

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Rounding out the five programs are STARBASE Robins and GYSTC.  STARBASE Robins is part of the premiere Department of Defense STARBASE STEM Program.  The program engages students through its inquiry-based curriculum with its “hands-on, mind-on” experiential activities. The goal is to motivate students to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as they continue their education.  During each student’s 25 hours of instruction, they are introduced to many STEM concepts and skills as well as 3D modeling and 3D printing.  STARBASE ROBINS programs include its signature fifth grade program as well as its STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program, summer academies and robotics tournaments.

GYSTC or Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center is available for K – 8th grade students and teachers. Student outreach programs and teacher professional development programs at member elementary and middle school sites are offered.  GYSTC partners with the Georgia Department of Education, business/industry leaders and local member schools to feature Family Science Nights, the STARLAB portable planetarium, teacher training workshops and student workshops.

With so much to offer the Middle GA community, it’s impossible to cover it all in one article, but we have tried to give you a synopsis of what you can expect from the Museum of Aviation’s Education Center.  Visit their website anytime to get detailed information on the different field trips and programs that they offer and check out the Summer Camp classes coming up while you’re there!

Guest Post: Why Offer Classes like Princess and Pirate Camps?

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!