Celebrate National Aviation Day with free educational activities at Family Day Aug. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
National Aviation Day is a celebration of all things related to aviation and is held on the anniversary of Orville Wright’s birthday (146 years ago on Aug. 19 in Dayton, Ohio).
During Family Day, museum visitors will learn about achievements in aviation and aerospace from the Wright brothers’ first flight to modern Air Force technology. Activities include hands-on demonstrations, build and fly balsa gliders, presentations and storytime.
The hands-on aviation and space demonstrations are appropriate for all ages and take place throughout the day. A variety of activities showcasing Air Force technology past, present and future will take place in the STEM Learning Node located in the Space and Research & Development Gallery and include a wind tunnel, nanotechnology and more.
In addition, visitors will be able to build and fly their own balsa glider to help them learn about controlling an aircraft in flight. This activity will take place in the center of the second building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (while supplies last).
The Air Force Research Laboratory, Sensors Directorate, will provide presentations on what it is like to be a scientist or engineer for the Air Force. There will be an opportunity to play a game called SensorCraft. This computer game allows players to change gravity, learn how to build structures or even launch a rocket. Presentations will begin at 10 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m.
MacAir Aviation LLC will also be providing presentations led by pilots and flight instructors. Topics include learning to fly, how the first pilots learned to fly and what it is like to fly as an aerobatic pilot in an airshow. In addition to the presentations, visitors will have the opportunity to try their hand at flying on desktop simulators. (Federal endorsement is not implied).
Four other presentations will be held in the STEM Learning Node located in the Presidential Gallery. Topics include “spy” satellites, drones, X-planes and presidential aircraft. Presentations will begin at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. and last about 45 minutes each. Doors will remain open throughout the presentation for those unable to stay for the duration.
Younger visitors can enjoy a storytime program at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1:15 p.m. in the STEM Learning Node located in the Presidential Gallery. This activity will feature stories of flight as well as a hands-on craft project.
All activities are free and open to the public. Some materials for the program are being provided by the Air Force Museum Foundation Inc. (Federal endorsement is not implied).
No advanced reservations are necessary. Visit the museum’s website for call the Education Division at 937-255-4646 for additional information.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.