Washington, D.C. as a Classroom - The National Air and Space Museum

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Washington, D.C. is more than a center of political power- it is also a vibrant and diverse city with a rich history. Our nation’s capital has limitless learning opportunities and as an educator, I hope you will immerse yourself in the historic sites, nature centers, and theaters while you’re here for our National Charter Schools Conference in June. Bringing Washington, D.C. into your classroom is a great way to add excitement and adventure to your lesson plans.

The National Air and Space Museum

Fascination with outer space is abundant in pop culture. From the popularity of Star Trek, The X-Files, and the soon to be released Hidden Figures, it is no wonder that the National Air and Space Museum is one of the most popular of all of the offerings on the National Mall.

The Air and Space Museum, as the name suggests, focuses on the evolution of aeronautics and outer space.  Authentic and replica planes, rockets, and lunar modules greet you as you enter the building. With over 20 exhibits in the downtown Washington location, like How Things Fly and A New Moon Rises,  you can easily lose track of time reading and exploring. If you are not able to fit a visit to the museum into your busy NCSC17 schedule, 11 of the exhibits are available online. You can take a virtual tour of the exhibits, watch bonus videos and view additional resources provide by the curators.

The Smithsonian makes it easy to add their exhibits to your lesson plans! They created an entire website providing lesson plans, classroom experiments, and posters, all available at no cost. The resources are updated as the exhibits rotate through the museum, so new plans are available frequently. From math and history to social studies and science, lesson plans are available for nearly all primary and secondary grades.

We encourage you to schedule some time to visit this museum during your stay in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 National Charter Schools Conference. Incorporate some of these great resources into your lesson plans and bring a small piece of Washington back home.