STEAM-Inspired Museums & Play Places

by adminMain | March 16, 2018 3:00 pm


These local and regional museums, planetariums, and more allow kids to see STEAM principals — science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — up-close and in action!

Choose Your County:
Arlington[1] | Fairfax[2] | Loudoun[3] | Prince William[4] | Regional[5]

Other:
DC[6] | MD[7]


Arlington County


David M. Brown Planetarium[8] | Arlington, VA
Run via Arlington Public Schools, The David M. Brown Planetarium provides a multitude of programs for public and school group viewing. During the school year, the planetarium shows programs for public viewing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. For additional information, please visit the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium[9].


Fairfax County


Children’s Science Center Lab[10] | Fairfax, VA
The recently opened Children’s Science Center Lab precedes The Children’s Science Center, set to open in 2020 in Loudoun County, which will offer interactive and hands-on exhibits, activities, and other programs focused on STEM. The Lab, located in Fair Oaks Mall, provides an educational and fun environment for families and kids of all ages via four interactive exploration centers. The Lab is well-staffed with eager and attentive employees ready to help, educate, and encourage.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center[11] | Chantilly, VA
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a Smithsonian museum, is a great place for not just aerial enthusiasts — but anything that has to do with air and space! Its two huge hangars display thousands of aviation and space artifacts. The Center also boasts an IMAX Theater and an observation tower, which gives you a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Washington Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area.


Loudoun County


Gum Spring Library[12] | Stone Ridge, VA
Sterling Library[13] | Sterling, VA
Rust Library[14] | Leesburg, VA — coming soon!
The Loudoun County Library system offers a wealth of STEAM resources and opportunities. The library system boasts dedicated studios (MILL Studios (Makers in Loudoun Libraries)), as well as tools and space for use and exploration.


Prince William County


Irene V. Hylton Planetarium[15] | Woodbridge, VA
The planetarium at CD Hylton Senior High School, also known as the Skydome Planetarium, contains a star projector capable of projecting 1,354 stars, the five visible eye planets, moon phasing, daily and yearly motion, the celestial coordinates, and other reference lines on a thirty-foot curved dome. Special effect projectors create solar and lunar eclipses, aurora display, meteor and meteor showers. There aren’t currently any public shows scheduled, however, check back often, as the shows are breathtaking, hypnotic, and worth the drive.


Regional


Science Museum of Virginia[16] | Richmond, VA
The Science Museum of Virginia offers a day full of wonder and learning for both kids and adults alike. With historic architecture as its backdrop, this museum is full of innovative and cutting-edge exhibits and activities. The exhibits are intentionally designed to provoke creativity and expand your mind, all while learning about life around us — from animals and planets to bioethics and gravity. Don’t miss out on the 360-degree movie experience in ‘The Dome’ or any of their Live Science presentations, which have been known to include cow eye dissection and even rat basketball!


Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum[17] | Winchester, VA
The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum moved to its new location in Winchester, VA in 2014 and it is still worth the drive! This kid-focused museum features 3-stories of exhibits, including an Encounter Zone, Action Zone, Explore Zone, and Sky Level. Each boasts loads of touch and play areas — with exhibits that encourage problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. Best of all, the kids don’t know they are learning — they just think they are having a great time!


More regional opportunities include:

Virginia Air and Space Center[18] | Hampton, VA
Children’s Museum of Virginia[19] | Portsmouth, VA
Virginia Air & Space Center[20] | Hampton, VA
Science Museum of Western Virginia[21] | Roanoke, VA
Virginia Discovery Museum[22] | Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Living Museum[23] | Newport News, VA
Virginia Museum of Natural History[24] | Martinsville, VA


Disclaimer/Terms[25]: These opportunities are subject to last minute cancellations and changes that might not be reflected in this DullesMoms.com post. Please, always confirm by calling/clicking.


These local and regional museums, planetariums, and more allow kids to see STEAM principals — science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — up-close and in action!

Choose Your County:
Arlington[1] | Fairfax[2] | Loudoun[3] | Prince William[4] | Regional[5]

Other:
DC[6] | MD


Maryland


Arthur Storer Planetarium[26] | Frederick, MD
Visitors of all ages can visit this Planetarium located on Calvert High School’s grounds. During the school year, learn about the night sky during free informational and educational sessions.

Ausherman Planetarium[27] | Frederick, MD
Located at the Earth and Space Science Laboratory, the Ausherman Planetarium has a 35-foot dome built to amaze and educate stargazers young and old! Not only does this Chronos Hybrid planetarium system model the night sky, but it also displays 360-degree movies.

Banneker Planetarium[28] | Catonsville, MD
Although its usage has been primarily for college courses, the Banneker Planetarium also offers shows to the public and school groups throughout the year!

Discovery Station at Hagerstown[29] | Hagerstown, MD
The Discovery Station at Hagerstown’s goal is to promote informal learning about science, technology, and local history through exhibits and programs that are both educational and entertaining. Many of their exhibits are culturally rich and STEM-based. Exhibit topics include aviation, space and beyond, dinosaurs, music, agriculture, and more. Kids won’t know the importance of each exhibit — they’ll just be excited to touch, feel, and play their way through the Museum’s 2-stories of fun!

Goddard Space Flight Center[30] | Greenbelt, MD
Activities, exhibits, and events at NASA Goddard Visitor Center provide inspiring and captivating educational experiences for all ages. Learn about climate change and tracking satellites, explore the mysteries of black holes, participate in the monthly rocket launch, and watch children transform into astronauts as they try on a kid-sized space suit. Have you ever watched a show on a 3D sphere with a six-foot diameter? Check out Science on a Sphere, as well as the Goddard Rocket Garden, which features a unique collection of actual space flight hardware and artifacts.

Howard B. Owens Science Center[31] | Lanham, MD
Operated by the Prince George’s County Public School System, the largest planetarium in Maryland offers a variety of shows for public viewing throughout the year. Families will enjoy these Friday evening shows focused on a range of topics.

Kids International Discovery Museum[32] | Bethesda, MD
Kids International Discovery Museum at Davis Library in Bethesda, MD offers fun, interactive programs for elementary- and middle school-aged children. Featuring hands-on experiences that highlight science, technology, culture, engineering, art, and math, the Kids International Discovery Museum is a truly enjoyable educational experience! Drop-in for open-explore sessions such as Interactive Light Painting, Building Outside the Box, and Sonic Electronics, or participate in facilitated workshops to learn new skills.

Maryland Science Center[33] | Baltimore, MD
The Maryland Science Center is another must-visit for anyone in our region. This science-inspired museum encourages a lot of touching — perfect for children and families. The 170,000-square-foot space boasts many fun permanent exhibits like Newton’s Alley (a kinetic, hands-on exhibit powered by you), Cells: The Universe Inside Us (zoom into your own body to see the different cells that make up your heart, brain, and bones), Dinosaur Mysteries (walk under, over, and through a landscape filled with more than 1-dozen life-size dinosaurs, dig pits, and other areas of discovery), and much more!

William M. Brish Planetarium[34] | Hagerstown, MD
Operated by the Washington County Public Schools System, the William M. Brish Planetarium shows programs for public viewing on select days each month. The earlier shows are geared towards younger elementary-aged audiences; visit their website[35] to check out all of the programs offered.


Disclaimer/Terms[25]: These opportunities are subject to last minute cancellations and changes that might not be reflected in this DullesMoms.com post. Please, always confirm by calling/clicking.


These local and regional museums, planetariums, and more allow kids to see STEAM principals — science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics — up-close and in action!

Choose Your County:
Arlington[1] | Fairfax[2] | Loudoun[3] | Prince William[4] | Regional[5]

Other:
DC | MD[7]


Washington, DC


Q?rius? at National Museum of Natural History[36]
Designed with younger children mind, this interactive space is specifically for children 10 and under. Visitors can explore a variety of museum artifacts such as butterfly wings, rocks, or minerals using a microscope! Little ones can also examine a full-size replica of a human skeleton, try on traditional clothing from around the world, or search for plants and animals on the biodiversity wall! Q?rius?

Rock Creek Park Nature Center & Planetarium[37]
There are plenty of free programs for children and adults at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium, operated by the National Park Service. The Planetarium boasts weekly educational shows and opportunities for audiences of all ages, including Seasonal Night Sky, Exploring the Universe, and more. They use high-tech Spitz software to project the image of the night sky onto a large, dome-shaped ceiling and experienced rangers lead you on a journey of exploration into our solar system, galaxy, and beyond!

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum[38]
The 1903 Wright Flyer, Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, Apollo 11’s command module Columbia, and a lunar rock are just a few of the thousands of objects on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. Stop by the public observatory to look through high-powered telescopes and see craters on the moon or spots on the sun. Click here[39] for special nighttime stargazing opportunities. Flight simulators, planetarium viewing, and IMAX Theater presentations are an extra cost, but worth the splurge.

Spark!Lab at National Museum of American History[40]
The Spark!Lab is where museum visitors between 6 and 12 become inventors! Children are invited to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment, and invent. Activities for children and families incorporate traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art, museum, and creativity. Spark!Lab activities are designed around themes that connect to Museum collections and exhibitions. Themes change on a regular basis ensuring that regular visitors have something new to explore! So join your friends daily from 10 am to 4 pm (closed Tuesdays) at the National Museum of American History to become science’s newest hero!


Disclaimer/Terms[25]: These opportunities are subject to last minute cancellations and changes that might not be reflected in this DullesMoms.com post. Please, always confirm by calling/clicking.

Endnotes:
  1. Arlington: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/#Arlington
  2. Fairfax: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/#Fairfax
  3. Loudoun: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/#Loudoun
  4. Prince William: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/#PWC
  5. Regional: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/#Regional
  6. DC: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/3/
  7. MD: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/2/
  8. David M. Brown Planetarium: http://www.apsva.us/planetarium
  9. Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium: http://friendsoftheplanetarium.org/
  10. Children’s Science Center Lab: http://childsci.org/lab/
  11. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/udvar-hazy-center/
  12. Gum Spring Library: http://library.loudoun.gov/News-Events/mill
  13. Sterling Library: http://library.loudoun.gov/News-Events/mill
  14. Rust Library: http://library.loudoun.gov/News-Events/mill
  15. Irene V. Hylton Planetarium: http://www.hyltonplanetarium.com/
  16. Science Museum of Virginia: http://www.smv.org/
  17. Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum: http://www.discoverymuseum.net/
  18. Virginia Air and Space Center: http://www.vasc.org/
  19. Children’s Museum of Virginia: http://www.childrensmuseumva.com/
  20. Virginia Air & Space Center: http://www.vasc.org/
  21. Science Museum of Western Virginia: http://smwv.org/
  22. Virginia Discovery Museum: http://www.vadm.org/
  23. Virginia Living Museum: http://thevlm.org/
  24. Virginia Museum of Natural History: http://www.vmnh.net/
  25. Terms: http://dullesmoms.com/terms-conditions/
  26. Arthur Storer Planetarium: https://sites.google.com/site/paulasaupairs/area-attractions-places-to-visit/maryland-counties-cities/calvert/arthur-storer-planetarium
  27. Ausherman Planetarium: https://education.fcps.org/essl/
  28. Banneker Planetarium: http://www.ccbcmd.edu/Programs-and-Courses/Schools-and-Academic-Departments/School-of-Mathematics-and-Science/Astronomy/Banneker-Planetarium.aspx
  29. Discovery Station at Hagerstown: http://discoverystation.org/
  30. Goddard Space Flight Center: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/visitor/home/index.html
  31. Howard B. Owens Science Center: http://www1.pgcps.org/howardbowens/wipage.aspx?Pageid=178442&id=197933
  32. Kids International Discovery Museum: http://kid-museum.org/
  33. Maryland Science Center: http://www.mdsci.org/
  34. William M. Brish Planetarium: http://wbplanetarium.weebly.com/
  35. their website: http://wbplanetarium.weebly.com/
  36. Q?rius? at National Museum of Natural History: https://qrius.si.edu/
  37. Rock Creek Park Nature Center & Planetarium: http://www.nps.gov/rocr/planyourvisit/planetarium.htm
  38. Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum: http://airandspace.si.edu/visit/mall/
  39. here: http://airandspace.si.edu/events/telescopic-observing/
  40. Spark!Lab at National Museum of American History: http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/sparklab

Source URL: http://dullesmoms.com/steam/