Geography Field Trip: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Geography Field Trip: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

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The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is one of the most popular sites in Washington DC.  The museum’s collection of aviation and space related artifacts is unique and very impressive.  During our family’s recent trip to Washington DC a visit to this museum was at the top of my children’s list — not only because of their interest in the history of human flight, but also as a tie-in to our current geography studies.

Time and Navigation

As we have learned from our geography studies,

Geography proper teaches us about making maps, navigation, and geographic tools like compasses, GPS, and atlases.” – North Star Geography

North Star Geography homeschool curriculum

As a Brand Ambassador for Bright Ideas Press we have received a complimentary copy of North Star Geography.  We will offer honest insights about how this program is working in real life with our family.

We were very excited to find an exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum to help us explore to this very topic!

The Time and Navigation exhibit is located on the second floor of the museum. Filled with artifacts (small and very large!) we were able to learn about the connection between time and place.

Navigating at Sea – By timing the Earth’s rotation early ocean explorers were able to determine their position in relation to the sun, moon, and stars.

Geography Field Trip: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Navigating the seas was difficult until a seaworthy clock was perfected.  Try this fun Navigate at Sea! Activity to find out if you can use the stars to navigate!

Geography Field Trip: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The marine chronometer revolutionized position-finding at sea.

The exhibit follows advances in navigation technology as explorers moved from sea, to the air, and into space.

We even learned how satellite navigation is used to help us find our own positions on earth using the Global Positioning System – GPS.

Geography Field Trip: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Today we are able to find out where we are and where we are going using a variety of tools, from a simple map to a GPS system on our smartphones.  It was very interesting to see how navigation technology has developed over the years and how we rely on these tools every day.

http://timeandnavigation.si.edu/satellite-navigation/gps

If a trip to Washington DC is not in your future, don’t worry! 

You can learn from this exhibit from the comfort of your own home by visiting the Smithsonian’s Time and Navigation website.  Here you will find downloadable resources, photos and descriptions of the artifacts on display, online activities, and more.

Have fun exploring!

North Star Geography homeschool curriculum

Comments

  1. We visited DC 3 or 4 years ago. It was SO much fun and we’ve been hoping to go back ever since. We toured the Air and Space Museum but it was the one out by the airport with all of the planes in it. VERY cool. Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.