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.


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.


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!


What in the World is a STEM Lab?

What in the World is a STEM Lab?

You might be wondering if we are testing plants in a new biology lab of some
sort….. That would be cool, but no, that is not the type of STEM Lab we
are planning.  STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and

 In September, 2010, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and
Technology (PCAST), created a report for the President that states, “We must
prepare students so they have a strong foundation in STEM subjects and are
able to use this knowledge in their personal and professional lives. And we
must inspire students so that all are motivated to study STEM subjects in
school and many are excited about the prospect of having careers in STEM
fields”. (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. 2010. Report to the President  PREPARE AND INSPIRE: K-12 EDUCATION IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATH (STEM) FOR AMERICA’S FUTURE. pg.V. )

STEM students work together in the Air Traffic Control classroom.

 The Museum of Aviation has been presenting programs for students and
educators since 1984 when the museum first opened.  Education has always
been an important mission of the museum.  The programs have grown over the
years, and we are proud that history, science, technology, engineering and
math have been the foundation of our curriculum.   STEM Labs will focus
directly on specific questions that challenge students to think, hypothesize
and experiment their way to a solution.

.       Oct 7                Rocketry

.       Oct 29              Chemistry

.       Dec 17             Flight

.       Feb 24             Air Traffic Control

.       Apr 6                Computer Components

 All STEM labs are open to 6th – 9th grade students.  The programs will be
held in the Century of Flight Hangar at the Museum of Aviation.  Each STEM
Lab costs $20.

A STEM instructor teaches about the physics of flight.

 Below is the complete schedule of Fall and Winter Programs.  All programs
are 9am until noon.  Prices vary. Call 478-926-5558 or email to register.

October 7                    1st-2nd              Culinary Kids

October 7                    6th-9th               Rocketry STEM Lab

October 29                  PreK-5th           Spooky Science

October 29                  6th-9th               Chemistry STEM Lab

November 22               1st-2nd              Thanksgiving Holiday Fun

December 17               PreK-5th           Science with Santa

December 17               6th-9th               Flight STEM Lab

Now that I think about it, a STEM class on stems could be pretty fun too!
Call us for more information on any of our programs..there is always a lot
going on at the Museum of Aviation!

– Melissa G. Spalding

  Director of Education

  478-926-0247  Office

  478-954-1915   Cell

Guest Post: Melissa Spalding on STEM Day

The Museum of Aviation Education Department is excited to work with Scientists and Engineers from the Middle Georgia community to present the first GA Kid’s STEM Day!  This exciting day of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math will be on Saturday, August 13th at the Museum of Aviation.  Mentors from L-3 Communications, Raytheon, Robins Air Force Base, area educators and others will all work together to present challenging hands-on activities which will include building a solar powered robot!   The Ham Radio Association and the Radio Control Club will also make presentations during the event.

Students in grades 1 – 5 are all invited to participate.  Space is limited in this special program.  Please register soon.  Cost is $35 and includes lunch.

Please pass along this invitation to all families that you know who may be interested in STEM education.  Contact Candi James at the Museum of Aviation for more information.  Candi can be reached at 478-222-7575. Groups are also welcome. We can work with scout troops and other groups to keep students together in classes.  Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Thanks for helping us share this information about GA Kid’s STEM Day!

Guest Blog: Cindy Groves writes about the Easter Bunny and Science

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined the Easter Bunny and Science?

Well, we have proof positive that it works!   A whole bunch of Houston County children from ages 5-12 would agree with me too. I am of course talking about The Museum of Aviation Education Department “Spring into Science” workshop on April 22.  When the children have a day off from school, why not have fun with Science?

The children began their morning by having their picture taken with the famous Bunny.  Then up in the classroom, they participated in some EGGcellent EGGsperiments.

Have you ever seen a raw egg turn to rubber?  It is a fascinating chemical reaction. An eggshell is composed of calcium carbonate. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which dissolves calcium. When an eggshell is exposed to vinegar—BAM! You have your chemical reaction.

If you would like to try this EGGsperiment, simply place an egg in a tall glass jar. Pour enough vinegar to cover the egg. Within minutes, you will notice bubbles forming on the egg. Leave the jar in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Following the 24 hours, pour out the old vinegar and replace with fresh vinegar. In one week, you will have a rubber translucent egg.

I just never grow tired of the OHHH’S and AHHH’S from children as they watch the chemical reactions occur, followed by, “How did you that?” and “Do it again!”

After a fun-filled day of more EGGsperiments and a few Spring Crafts, we concluded “Spring into Science” with an Egg Hunt galore. Over 300 goody filled eggs were hidden.

If you did not join us for “Spring into Science” this time, there is always next year!

Check out our website for more upcoming events: