Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presents the 2012 “Heritage Family Day” Series

February 2, 2012
News Release

As part of the Smithsonian’s Heritage and History education initiative, the National Air and Space Museum presents a “Heritage Family Day” series celebrating ethnic and cultural diversity. The series coincides with national observances, focusing specifically on the contributions that diverse communities have made to aviation and space exploration. These activity-filled days, which take place at the National Mall building and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, offer parents and children the opportunity to meet role models—ranging from World War II pilots to astronomers—who may inspire future generations to consider careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Support for “Heritage Family Day” series is provided by the Northrop Grumman Corp. This is the seventh consecutive year that the company has sponsored this series.

The series begins Feb. 11 at the museum’s National Mall building with “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day,” in which visitors will have the chance to meet members of the Tuskegee Airmen, African American pilots who flew during WWII, and be inspired by their determination and perseverance. On Feb. 25, the second “African American Pioneers in Aviation Day” will be held at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

On March 24, “Kites of Asia Day,” visitors will experience the beauty and artistry of kites from Japan on the occasion of the centennial of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to Washington, D.C. There will be demonstrations of a variety of kites, and curators will explain how these influenced the development of aviation, as well as the science behind kite flying. Visitors can decorate and build their own kites.

Also March 24, the “Women in Aviation and Space Day” will take place at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Visitors will learn about the accomplishments of women in aviation, science and aerospace. This event is in partnership with the Girl Scouts and helps commemorate their 100th Anniversary.

“Explore the Universe Day” will take place at the National Mall building April 21. Astronomy will serve as a common theme for visitors to learn how different people and cultures view and talk about the sky. The museum’s Public Observatory will be open for daytime sky-watching weather permitting.

There will be two “Heritage Family Days” in September: “A Century of Women in Aerospace” at the National Mall building Sept. 15 and “Hispanic Heritage Day” in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center Sept. 29 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

The last “Heritage Family Day” of the 2012 series will be Oct. 13 at the National Mall building and will celebrate Hispanic Heritage in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Latino Center. There will be bilingual programming and visitors will have the chance to meet Hispanic aerospace professionals. For more information about the museum’s “Heritage Family Day” series, visit:

The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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