For Educators

For Educators

DISCOVERING FLIGHT WITH THE
NATIONAL AVIATION HALL OF FAME

At the National Aviation Hall of Fame, we see the work to inspire and build the confidence of future aerospace innovators as an essential part of our mission. We are proud to share our new initiative, Discovering Flight with the National Aviation Hall of Fame, a multi-faceted curriculum program that enables us to support young learners and educators and engage our audience both remotely and in our Heritage Hall and Education Center.

Discovering Flight with the NAHF


According to the U.S. Department of Education, “In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it’s more important than ever that our nation’s youth are prepared to bring knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know-how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.1” The aviation and aerospace industry has a particular vested interest. Industry leaders have been working to find solutions to relieve an ever-growing shortage of trained technical graduates to fill their growing and increasingly complex workforce.

As educators, employers, and parents across the country explore strategies to fill the technology gap and equip students with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to be successful innovators in a 21st-century workforce, there has been a growing emphasis on STEAM — the educational discipline that engages students around the multidisciplinary subjects Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math. However, attracting young learners into an appreciation for STEAM concepts and pursuing technical careers is not simple.

Researchers have found that as children grow into teens, their interest and confidence in math and science often declines, especially among underrepresented groups. A situation exacerbated by the closure of schools and a move to remote learning by many districts nationwide in response to the COVID pandemic. Early reports show students in grades PreK thru 12 who lack the internet, technology, and support needed to successfully engage in online learning are falling further behind their more affluent peers, widening long-standing achievement gaps.

1. U.S. Dept. of Ed. (2020, February). Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, including Computer Science. ed.gov. Retrieved from ed.gov

The program includes three key initiatives to date:


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Learning with Will and Orv

Learning with Will and Orv is a multidisciplinary curriculum for grades pre-K to 6 of state and national standards. It includes aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more that combines the mission the NAHF with the educational expertise of PBS/ThinkTV. The program shares the Wright Brothers as informal guides to lessons within the curriculum as they deliver fun, educational experiences for the classroom.

Learning with Will and Orv is designed to let students learn by doing. An array of hands-on activities encourages students to build, fly, and conduct experiments with kites, soda-straw gliders, rubber-band-powered balsa planes, and more. It challenges them to not only take on a task or experiment but then also reflect on the results of their actions. Interactive games for individual and group play and short video segments for PBS learning media help solidify learning by providing fun and necessary repetition.

Visit STEM World Kids to learn more!

Junior Collier Award

With our partners, the National Aeronautics Association (NAA) and the National Air and Space Museum (NASM), the Junior Collier Award is a STEAM based competition for grades 5-8 designed in conjunction with the current year Collier Trophy winner. The challenge focuses on developing a concept/idea inspired by the Collier winning technology with emphasis on original thought and design, versus fabrication and build out. The projects will not be limited by the technology of the trophy winner, rather the goal will be for students to be inspired by the technology.  Each year a NASM leader, NAA Awardee, and/or NAHF Enshrinee will announce and promote the Junior Collier Challenge. The Junior Collier Award trophy will be housed, with the names of the winning classes affixed, in perpetuity in the NASM in Washington, D.C.

Why I Fly

Why I Fly is a web-based video series produced with content partners Emmy Award-winning Hemlock Films.  Why I Fly are a series of short videos that feature an individual who is engaged in an aspect of aviation or aerospace. The people featured are intriguing, relatable, and talented. They show the humanity of aviation and embody the fact that the field is attainable.

The central purpose of Why I Fly is to generate exposure of opportunities in aviation and aerospace by highlighting individuals with a connection to flight. In the past, careers in aviation were regarded as exclusive, inaccessible, and primarily male dominated. The NAHF seeks to share the complete realm of aviation and aerospace careers to a wide audience through Why I Fly. Whether as a career or hobby, the NAHF sees tremendous value in igniting interest of young and old in aviation, especially females and minorities.

Classroom Memberships

Sign up for a FREE classroom membership ($25 after first year). Classroom members are able to nominate a candidate for induction, plus receive invitations to NAHF enshrinee talks in addition to access to our Enshrinee database, and much more!

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View Our Webinars

Our Aerospace and Adaptation: Webinar Series launched in 2020 as part of the National Aviation Hall of Fame’s pandemic response in partnership with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA).

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How to Get Will and Orv for Your Classroom

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