Starting in 2020, the National Aviation Hall of Fame partnered with a trusted name in early childhood education, ThinkTV/PBS, to create an aviation and aerospace-led, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math)-based curriculum for grades 1 through 3.
The program, called “Discovering Flight: Learning with the National Aviation Hall of Fame,” includes in-person tutelage at the NAHF Heritage Hall & Education Center as well as remote learning opportunities.
The NAHF and its partners intend to complete the first phase in Fall 2021 and, as they distribute the curriculum for free in under-resourced schools, they plan to begin Phase 2 for grades 4 through 6. Phase 2 will focus on sustainability technology in aviation and aerospace.
“It is our goal to expose and ignite the aviation and aerospace workforce of tomorrow,” said NAHF president and CEO Amy Spowart. “Today, we will do it in the classroom by teachers who are supported every step of the way through a pipeline connecting our early curriculum with the middle and high school programs already available.
Three Key Facets
Discovering Flight consists of three key initiatives so far:
- ”Learning with Will and Orv” is a multidisciplinary curriculum for grades 1 to 3 of standards-aligned videos, interactives, and lesson plans. The program uses the Wright Brothers (“Will and Orv”) as informal guides to the lessons within the curriculum as they meet up with other famous aerospace leaders from throughout history to deliver entertaining and educational experiences for the classroom.
- The Junior Collier Award Program is a collaborative effort between the NAHF, the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), and the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to invite students to develop a concept or idea inspired by a Collier-Trophy-winning technology. The challenge will involve education and community organizations whose focus is on traditionally underserved and under-resourced communities.
- ”Why I Fly” is a web-based video series produced along with filmmakers Adam and Karen White, of Hemlock Films. “The team at Hemlock is developing a series of short videos (each two to three minutes in length) to share via social media, partner websites, and other targeted venues,” said the NAHF on its site. “Each short will feature an individual who is engaged in an aspect of aviation or aerospace. The people featured are intriguing, relatable, and do not seek exposure. They show the humanity of aviation and embody the fact that the field is attainable.”