Smithsonian Partnership

The Fairfax Network and Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum have partnered to bring Smithsonian resources and expertise to students and educators through distance learning broadcasts to schools throughout the United States.


The goals of this partnership are to enhance the learning experience of students by using distance learning technology to help bring science to life and to provide effective complex content for meaningful, memorable, and inspiring lessons. Each program integrates STEM — science, technology, engineering, physics, math — and other fields of study.

Smithsonian Museum I in DC

Smithsonian Museum in VA

Innovation Workshop: Harnessing the Sun

March 19, 2015 — for students in grades 5-8

By investigating the solar panels on the International Space Station, students discover the power of this renewable energy source.

Innovation Workshop: Building Discovery

March 18, 2014 — for students in grades 5-8

During this program, students will explore the engineering, science, and design process that led to the innovation of the space shuttle.

Aerospace Academy: Design a Satellite

November 17, 2011 — for students in grades 3-5
This program shows the unique aspects, benefits and importance of satellites through demonstrations and simple experiments. Students learn about all key parts of a satellite and how they work. Then, in a hands-on activity, students create their own satellite.

Aerospace Academy: We Can Fly

March 22, 2011 — for students in grades K-3
Students learn the important steps of going on a commercial flight through a story-based lesson. Plus, the four basic forces of flight are demonstrated in clever examples that will captivate younger students. Students become pilots as they navigate the airport traffic patterns.

Aerospace Academy: Paper Airplane Design

January 31, 2011 — for students in grades 3-8
Students create paper airplanes then manipulate the weight to test the center of gravity and center of lift of the design. Using the scientific method, students conduct the experiment, collect data, and track results to prove or disprove their hypothesis.

Flight School 5: On the Red Planet

March 21, 2012 — for students in grades 4-8

We explore how scientists are studying the Red Planet, the kind of valuable information being collected, and what that information tells us about our own planet.

Flight School 4: From Above

October 8, 2008 — for students in grades 4-8
Students explore what flying above the Earth teaches about the planet and its inhabitants. They also meet the people and the vehicles that help us study the Earth from above. Students learn that as we fly higher, our perspective and observations change, thus changing the way we see the planet and ourselves.

Flight School 3: Blast Off!!!

April 23, 2008 — for students in grades 4-8
[Rebroadcast March 14, 2012 ]
This program examines the history of rocket-propelled flight, the space race, lunar landing, and the space shuttle program. Along the way, students learn about the pioneering men and women who’ve made the dream of space flight possible, meet astronauts, find out about the science of piloting a space craft, and much more.

Flight School 2: Higher, Faster, Farther!

October 17, 2007 — for students in grades 4-8

We examine how the knowledge of the forces of flight inspired engineers and aviators to go higher, faster, and farther than ever before. From propellers to jet engines, from subsonic to supersonic speeds, this program explores revolutionary innovations in flight speed, distance, and aviation technology, as well as showcase many of the pioneering women and men of yesterday and today who made it all possible.

Flight School 1: Inspired to Fly

March 28, 2007 — for students in grades 4-8

Students meet historians, engineers, pilots, and air traffic controllers who discuss the principles and practices of early powered flight and the connections to modern aviation. Through demonstrations of Bernoulli’s Principle, wing design, and air pressure, this cross-curricular program highlights concepts of aviation.

Space Day℠ 2006: Living and Working on the Moon

May 5, 2006 — for students in grades 4-8
This Electronic Lesson examines what it takes to explore our Solar System by reviewing the technology that allowed us to explore the moon during the Apollo missions. Students will view aviation and space artifacts located at the Center and learn the role these artifacts played in our exploration of space and what they can teach us about exploring the moon again as well as Mars.

Space Day℠ 2005: Return to the Moon

May 5, 2005 — for students in grades 4-8
With the Apollo era artifacts and the Space Shuttle Enterprise as focal points, students learn about the technology used to reach the moon the first time and what is needed to return. Together we explore lunar geography, the phases of the moon, living and working in space, and the important role robots have played in exploring the moon, Mars, and beyond.