From an early age, children are fascinated by air travel and by the wonders of the open seas. While the classroom is the logical place to engage their curiosity, why not supplement the curriculum with a museum visit to experience things firsthand.
The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, is a destination unlike any other. It has a proud history of preserving aircraft, maintaining curated collections and exhibits, providing STEM education programs, and, of course offering field trip opportunities to schools and student groups. In one day students can check out a lunar module replica, experience the thrills of flight in a motion simulator, feel the power of the Blue Angels and walk beneath the wings of a fighter jet. Older students have the chance to plan missions and enhance their understanding of STEM subjects aboard the Ambition virtual aircraft carrier.
Planning a Field Trip
What better place to bring the classroom to life than the National Naval Aviation Museum? The Flight to Excellence (FTE) program, designed for K-12 school and other student groups, helps everyone get the most out of their visit. Download the handy field trip planning guide to start the planning process.
Unlike a traditional museum walk-through, the FTE program is sure to be a memorable day for any school group or youth organization. Each field trip begins with an educational movie on the popular Giant Screen, getting students ready for what’s to come and providing important yet entertaining information that will help them grasp all that there is to see within the museum’s walls. There is also a self-guided walking tour that allows kids to see the museum from all angles and explore the areas that interest them the most. And what’s more fun that a scavenger hunt in a museum? Kids can take part in this educational activity to round out a day well spent.
The Field Trips page has a variety of downloadable resources for teacher and adults to help them make the most of their visit and guide students on a journey of exploration.
The museum’s dedication to education has extended to include a state-of-the-art Distance Learning program in the Interactive Technology Center (ITC). The ITC is a prototype, distance learning classroom that allows for lessons to be given through web-based videos that can be viewed on-demand. This is the perfect program to accompany studies in aviation, as the lessons incorporate the principles of mathematics and science behind flight.
It’s evident that the National Naval Aviation Museum is more than your typical museum. It’s a hands-on experience that will leave students, and adults, in awe and pique their curiosity about the world of aviation and flight.
Be sure to check out the Giant Screen Theater, which, in addition to field trip films, screens films such as The Magic of Flight, D-Day: Normandy 1944 and Hurricane. To experience these on the Giant Screen is to live them!
And who can resist a thrill ride? Not only does the museum offer the chance to get your adrenaline pumping, it also allows visitors to experience the thrills of flight. Try your hand at air-to-air combat and stunt on one of the two MaxFlight 360 simulators with 360-degree pitch-and-roll technology. And be sure not to miss a chance to try out the Motion Based Simulator – a fully enclosed, 15-passenger capsule that can move in six directions, allowing riders to experience horizontal rolls, longitudinal pitches and vertical climbs.
Finally, no visit is complete without the Blue Angels 4D Experience. In addition to the thrills of 3D, there are interactive seats and unique special effects built into the theater itself. Take part in the action as you experience the aerial maneuvers of the famed Blue Angels. Shows play continuously each day, and each show accommodates 12 guests.