AidSpace Blog

Another First for The Museum – Virtual Conferences

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Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, jumps up from the lunar surface as he salutes the U.S. Flag during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA). NASA Image #GPN-2000-001131

The National Air and Space Museum is holding its first ever virtual conference for educators on Tuesday, November 10 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST.   Since we’re in the middle of the 40th anniversary commemorations of the Apollo missions, we decided to focus on this important period in American history.  Staff from our Division of Space History will discuss some fascinating topics such as the real story behind President Kennedy’s famous speech challenging Congress to send Americans to the Moon;  the role of computers—a new technology in the 1960s; the myth of presidential leadership during this time period; the intersections of Ralph Abernathy, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Moon landing; the rise of six iconic Apollo images and how they have been used over time; and the denials of the Moon landings by a small segment of the population and their evolution since the 1960s.  They will also explain the complexity behind the Saturn Rocket, the Command, Service, and Lunar Modules and the technique of Lunar-Orbital Rendezvous.   Museum educators will provide tips for helping students analyze primary source materials. The program will support the NASA History Advanced Placement and Human Geography Advanced Placement projects and is generously funded by NASA.

As an added bonus, Apollo astronaut John Young graciously agreed to record a special invitation to participate in the conference and answered some of our questions about his experiences in space.

New to virtual conferencing? A virtual or online conference is similar to other professional conferences only you access it online. Registration is free and open to everyone. And since we know people are busy and the conference schedule will not be convenient for everyone interested, all the conference sessions are recorded and archived so you can play them at any time.

Whether you’re an educator or not, we invite you to join us for this free event.  And, help us spread the word!

Visit the Smithsonian Virtual Conference web site for more information and to register.

Tim Grove is an education specialist in the National Air and Space Museum’s Education Division.

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