school programs

overview

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Explore science, technology, history and much more with our expert educators and a variety of hands-on programs, either at the museum, your school, community center, library or other educational venue.

  • Please call for class size limitations.
  • One adult supervisor is required for every ten students when visiting the museum or Gillespie Field facility.
  • educator guide

    Download our educator guide which is full of great information for your classroom.
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  • A 30-minute guided tour of the museum can normally be added to all classes held at the museum at no extra cost: this must be requested when making your booking, and is subject to tour guide availability. Some classes already include gallery tours, as noted in the descriptions.
  • A mileage fee of 75 cents per mile (in both directions) will be added for school outreaches.
  • The teacher must remain with the class.
  • These classes can also be taught for your group at our Gillespie Field facility in El Cajon.

education program descriptions

Things that Fly

Grades: K-2
This activity-oriented program introduces younger students to the history and science of flight, learning from designs in nature and those created by humans.
Time: 1.5 hours
Cost: $120
Notes: Maximum class size is 25 students.

It's a Blast

Grades: 1-3
Students build and launch paper rockets as they learn about Newton's Third Law of Motion - a brief study of rocket aerodynamics made fun! Please note that in order to keep the cost of this class down, we need to re-use our film canister “rocket motors.”
Time: 2 hours
Cost: $120
Notes: Maximum class size is 25 students.

Kites!

Grades: 2-6
Students use household materials and imagination to build and fly kites, and learn how kites have been enjoyed and used around the world for thousands of years.
Time: 2 hours
Cost: $130
Notes: Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level.

Aviation Art

Grades: 2-12
Using our "Fantastic Voyage" traveling poster exhibit as inspiration, students will create individual aviation-related art projects. The Museum graphic design department will then convert the students' work into take-home stickers and book covers. This is a wonderful way to blend science and art while inspiring future artists!
Time: 2 week rental of Fantastic Voyage, with a 2 hour classroom visit.
Cost: $100
Notes: Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level. Does not include mileage fees required for set up.

Magic Planet - Solar System Tour

Grades: 3-6
Students go on a high tech tour of our solar system featuring the Magic Planet digital globe. Features and characteristics of the planets, our sun and moon are addressed.
Time: 1.5 hours
Cost: $120

Magic Planet - Concepts of Scale

Grades: 4-6
Students learn about our solar system through hands-on explorations of scale to appreciate "how big and how far" the planets really are.
Time: 2 hours
Cost: $130

Balloon Builders

Grades: 3-9
After a short visual presentation on the history of lighter-than-air flight, students work in teams to build and launch hot air balloons.
Time: 3 hours
Cost: $150
Notes: Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level.

Awesome Aerodynamics

Grades: 3-12
After a visual journey through aviation history, students use the familiar medium of paper to make innovative kinds of airplanes and learn the not-so-familiar concepts of aerodynamics.
Time: 2.5 hours at the museum (Includes 60 minute tour), 1.5 hours for outreach
Cost: $120
Notes: Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level. At the museum, two classes (70 students) may be accommodated during the same time frame for a fee of $160.

International Space Station

Grades: 3-12
Interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities teach students about spaceflight and living and working on the International Space Station (ISS). The presentations cover concepts such as orbits, microgravity, rendezvous, spacesuits, and living in space.
Time: 1.5 hours
Cost: $130
Notes: Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level

Gliders Galore!

Grades: 4-6
Students learn the basics of aerodynamics, then directly apply that knowledge in a hands-on way by building working, student-steerable model gliders.
Time: 2.5 hours
Cost: $140

What Goes Up...

Grades: 5-10
Discovering the basics of aerodynamics with paper airplanes leads to a practical application of aircraft design as students build balsa wood flying models.
Time: 4 hours (includes half hour for lunch)
Cost: $180
Notes: Includes 60 minute museum galleries tour

Aquarockets

Grades: 4-12
Newton's Laws come to life as students turn simple soda bottles into amazingly high-flying rockets. Students can bring their own 2 liter bottle and take it home as a rocket.
Time: 2 hours
Cost: $140

Engineer Design Challenge

Grades: 5-12
Based on a well-known college egg drop test, your students will be challenged to engineer a creative and functional impact-resistant capsule. Students work with limited materials and within a budget to design vehicles capable of protecting their "astronaut" from the impact of reentry. A great team-building project, and a fun way for the world's future engineers to learn the scientific method!
Time: 3 hours
Cost: $120

science festival descriptions

Paper Rockets

Grades: 1-6
Learn about rocket stability by building simple paper "rockets" launched with a drinking straw. A brief study of rocket aerodynamics made fun.
Time: 1 hour
Cost: $100

Puff Gliders

Grades: 3-6
Design, build and launch straw gliders that allow students to lean first-hand how some aircraft and gliders fly.
Time: 1 hour
Cost: $100

Kites

Grades: 3-9
Build and fly a cool paper kite.
Time: 1 hour
Cost: $100

Aerodynamics with Paper Airplanes

Grades: 3-12
In this popular program, students make and use innovative paper airplanes to discover the concepts of heavier-than-air flight.
Time: 45 minutes per program
Cost: $100 for two programs
Notes: At least two programs must be scheduled per visit. Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level.

International Space Station

Grades: 3-12
Interactive demonstrations and hands-on activities teach students about spaceflight and the International Space Station (ISS). The presentations cover concepts such as orbits, microgravity, rendezvous, spacesuits, and living in space.
Time: 45 minutes per program
Cost: $100 for two programs
Notes: At least two programs must be scheduled per visit. Curriculum adjusted to students' grade level.

Foam & Balsa Gliders

Grades: 4-8
Build and fly a foam and balsa glider with adjustable tail and wing positions.
Time: 1 hour
Cost: $150

Foam Flyers

Grades: 5-12
Design, build and fly a glider, based on historical designs or imagination.
Time: 1 hour
Cost: $100

traveling exhibit descriptions

Fantastic Voyage

Grades: 1-12
Travel around the world and inspire your students without leaving the classroom! You will receive a beautiful set of vintage travel posters to display. Each poster features a different country and aircraft. Information provided in the curriculum enables your class to make a trans-world flight while learning about geography, history, science, and art.
Time: 2 week rental
Cost: $75 plus mileage fees
Notes: $75 fee includes set up and removal by museum staff, it does not include mileage fees. Each additional week is $25.

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