We went to visit the Arkansas Air & Military Museum, a specialized museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas. There’s a hangar full of planes and buildings containing military vehicles, engines, and historical displays.
Just looking at the planes was the best part for most of us.
There were planes and helicopters from many different times and places.
Seeing the different shapes people have tried out made us wonder about the way propellers, different wing configurations, and the overall shape of the plane affects its flight.
We were also intrigued by the ways people have decorated their airplanes. Many of the planes at the museum have decorations that make them look fierce.
FreshPlans is a family project, and Dad came with us to the museum. He grew up in Laos, and he remembered these fierce aircraft from his childhood. There were exhibits from Southeast Asia in the military building and it was interesting to hear his memories.
One exhibit showed lots of different military uniforms.
Both men and women wear uniforms that show details about their service. It’s a form of communication as well as practical clothing for their work.
Ready for a visit? You may have an air museum near you. If not, enjoy some virtual exhibits:
- Museum of Flight
- Frontiers of Flight Museum
- Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- National Naval Aviation Museum
- Hiller Aviation Museum
- Experimental Aircraft Association
Create your own classroom air museum. Challenge students to design their own aircraft. Exhibit their drawings or models.
We found out that hearing someone’s personal experiences really brought the exhibits to life. Invite a veteran or a pilot to your classroom for a powerful oral history experience.
Research military uniforms. Find out the meanings of the insignia and colors of uniforms. Military.com is a good starting point. If your school has uniforms, talk about ways in which military uniforms are like your school uniforms. Let students design their own uniforms.
Learn about Louise Thaden, an early aviatrix.
- Arkansas Encyclopedia of History and Culture article
- National Aviation Hall of Fame biography
- The Smithsonian Institution’s collection of primary documents
Don’t miss our aviation lesson plans.