Friday, December 21, 2018

NASA - Air and Space Museum

We had the opportunity to visit the Virginia Air and Space Center when we traveled to Virginia a couple of months ago, but I'm just now getting around to sharing it.  We used reciprocal membership through our local science museum for admission, so it didn't cost us anything extra.

This museum is the NASA Langley Visitor Center.  If you've read Hidden Figures, you'll recognize that the Langley Research Center was the primary setting.  The book has a lot of science talk in it, so I wouldn't recommend it for my kids' age range, but maybe high school and beyond.

I've never been to one of these museums, so I wasn't sure what all we'd be getting into or what the kids would end up enjoying.

Here are a few snapshots of their favorites . . . though the images aren't the best quality.

They loved looking at artifacts and learning their place in space history.

The kids could be an astronaut with their own team in these "capsules" that played like video games.

Katherine Johnson was one of the women featured in Hidden Figures, is from West Virginia, and had an exciting career at Langley.

For the kid who loves airplanes and flight, there was a lot going on for them too with airplanes and parts of airplanes everywhere we turned.

There were a lot of hands-on activities throughout the museum, which helped engage the kids more.

The kids have never flown before, but they liked walking onto the airplane and seeing what it will be like when they do fly.

She buckled up and didn't want to leave!

They loved taking turns "flying" the airplane and just seeing what everything looks like.

Overall, it was a nice place.  There was so much more to see and do than I could possibly capture.  It's hard to read all the placards and really experience everything when you have a 3 year old that likes to go-go-go, but there was a lot of interactive and hands-on stuff to keep the kids interested.  You could make your own paper airplanes to fly through a "wind tunnel" (if I recall correctly), learn how luggage is transported when checked, and walk through an entire exhibit dedicated to Mars, the Moon and beyond.

If your kids are into airplanes or space, this is a fantastic field trip!  I imagine other NASA centers would be equally impressive.

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  1. That looks like fun! We've watched Hidden Figures but I didn't realize there was a book.

    1. I still haven't watched the movie, so I'm glad I read the book and had some of that background information before we got there. It was a fun place!