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Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Presents the 2017 “Heritage Family Day” Series

February 10, 2017

The National Air and Space Museum marks the 10th anniversary of its “Heritage Family Day” series and announces the 2017 programs. The series celebrates ethnic and cultural diversity, with new offerings and opportunities for families and visitors alike. The family days coincide with national observances, focusing specifically on the contributions that diverse communities have made to aviation and space exploration. These activity-filled days take place at the museum’s National Mall building and its Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va., and begin in February 2017. Support for the “Heritage Family Day” series is provided by Northrop Grumman Corp.

“For the past decade, the ‘Heritage Family Day’ series has celebrated our country’s cultural diversity through the lens of aviation and space flight,” said Mark Kornmann, assistant director for education and public engagement at the National Air and Space Museum. “We look forward to bringing these unique educational opportunities to our visitors once again.”

The 2017 series begins Feb. 11 at the museum’s building in Washington with “African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space” where visitors will hear from NASA astronaut Victor Glover and meet the East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. On Feb. 25, it continues at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center with the same theme and will also feature members of the Tuskegee Airmen, a puppet show and many other hands-on activities.

“Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are focused on helping to expand and enhance the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally, and Heritage Family Days are an important part of that effort,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president of Global Corporate Responsibility at Northrop Grumman and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “We are delighted to once again support ‘Heritage Family Days’ and are excited about their ability to provide STEM outreach to a diverse audience of young people and their families.”

On March 18, “Women in Aviation and Space Day” will take place at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Families can enjoy guest speakers, hands-on activities, a theatrical presentation and more, with special discounts for Girl Scouts.

Visitors to the National Mall building March 25 will experience the beauty of kites at “Kites of Asia Day.” The activity-filled day will include indoor kite flying while experts explain the science behind kite flying and how kites influenced the development of aviation. Visitors can decorate and build their own kites.

“Explore the Universe Day” will take place at the National Mall building April 29. Astronomy will serve as a common theme for visitors to learn how different people and cultures view and talk about the sky. A Planetarium show and hands-on activities will be accessible to all audiences, including visitors who have low-vision or are blind.

The Udvar-Hazy Center will host “We Share STEM! Connecting Across Cultures” July 15, celebrating the contributions of scientists and engineers in STEM professions.

On Sept. 16, “Women in Aviation and Space” will take place at the National Mall building, and the 2017 “Heritage Family Day” series will conclude with “Hispanic Heritage Day: Innovators in Air and Space” in partnership with the Smithsonian Latino Center Oct. 14 at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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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Alison Mitchell 
(202) 633-2376

Amy Stamm    
(202) 633-2392

Girls in astronaut suits
Related photos: 

African American Pioneers in Aviation Heritage Family Day

Young people at exhibit display

National Air and Space Museum / Smithsonian Institution

Visitors participate in a Discovery Station at African American Pioneers in Aviation Heritage Family Day at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

National Air and Space Museum / Smithsonian Institution

Related photos: 

NASA Astronaut Stephanie Wilson

Wilson with microphone

Smithsonian Institution

NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson speaks at the 2014 African American Pioneers in Aviation Heritage Family Day at the Museum in Washinton, DC. 

Smithsonian Insitution 

Related photos: 

Women in Aviation and Space Family Day

Young girls in astronaut uniforms

Dane Penland / National Air and Space Museum

Photo by Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum