Editor’s Note: Updated on January 3, 2019
The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum has created a space for children of all ages to explore STEM ideas (that’s science, technology, engineering, and math).
The new Children’s Learning Center opened last weekend. It consists of 10 interactive stations designed as an out-of-classroom experience for children to experiment and learn about science, technology, engineering, and math and the physics, forces, and technology of flight. Families can easily spend an hour here, especially if the children get into building structures at a couple of the stations.
I explored with my preschooler and first-grader and they had as much fun as the older kids there. Some activities were better suited for the limited patience of little ones than others, but with the help of an adult, they could build and experiment alongside the big kids.
Thank you to the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum for the complimentary passes so I can visit and get some great pictures. It was a fun day!
What you’ll find at the Children’s Learning Center
Bernoulli Blower: Discover the principles of airflow and how air speed and pressure effects objects, like beach balls.
KEVA Planks: Create structures and gain first-hand experience with balance, leverage, geometry and the principles of physics.
Make-it-Tables: Experience the engineering design process by building machines or structures using materials provided.
Interactive Kiosk Station: Explore the four forces of flight.
Wind Trainer: Learn about the science and technology of flight in terms of aircraft roll, pitch and yaw.
Dual Test Track: Learn how friction, drag, weight distribution, and gravity affect the design and operation of aircraft and other vehicles.
Innovation Station: Create inventions, environments, and activities with large scale foam blocks that encourage teamwork and imagination.
Quake Table: Design structures and explore the phenomena of earthquakes and their effects.
Tennis Ball Launcher: Explore the effects of gravity on different sized and massed objects.
Twin Air Blaster: Experience how airflow impacts aircraft design.
What else is for kids at the museum?
If your kid loves planes, you’re set. This place has a ton of them, and many that you can peek inside. There’s also an area dedicated to Nebraska’s astronaut, Clayton Anderson, who’s from Ashland, Neb.
There are a few items that are an additional cost to admission, but can be a big hit with kids. When they were younger, it was the 50-cent rides. Now, they’re all about the flight simulators.
The museum also regularly has traveling exhibits now. Read about those and other things to do with kids at the museum in this post about what’s new at the museum.
If you go
Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
Where: 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland, Neb. (about 30 miles west of Omaha)
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve; closed: New Year’s Day, Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas
Cost: Adults, $12; senior citizens, military, $11; children (ages 4-12), $6; FREE for children aged 3 and younger
Extras: Fight simulators, 2D rides are $9 for members $10 for non-members, and 3D rides are $12 for members $13 for non-members.
2019 events & exhibits
Jan. 19 – Indoor Air Show
Jan. 19 through May 10 – “Robot Zoo”
Feb. 16 – Nebraska Robotics Expo
March 2 – Leprechaun Chase
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