In partnership with the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation and NASA, the Museum of Science Fiction’s educational mission is to share and use science fiction as a tool to inspire imagination and motivate project-based learning in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). To this end, we work with communities to provide learning and growth opportunities for both children and adults.
We strongly believe that people learn best from each other, and that we learn best by doing. We created the Museum’s Educator Workshops with this in mind. Educators of all types can gather in hands-on workshops to explore STEAM activities with a science fiction twist that they can bring back to their students. The workshops are geared towards students in grades 4-8 but can be easily scaffolded up for advanced students or down to meet the needs of special education students. Our educators have explored the inner workings of Scratch programming, learned how to gamify their classrooms, and created constellations with spaghetti. During the workshops educators are encouraged to collaborate and share past experiences with each other. The relationships and knowledge that grow from these interactions are one of the most beneficial side effects of the Museum’s Educator Workshops.
The Museum of Science Fiction celebrates creativity and ingenuity with workshops for students that are designed to promote STEAM and higher-order thinking skills. Students can learn how to build a robot and program it to follow directions. They can see what it takes to build a computer and how to code with Scratch. Students may also attempt intricate engineering projects using only straws and pipe cleaners. Using science fiction as a frame of reference, students build working knowledge of their world through hands-on projects and guided exploration.
The Museum uses science fiction as a tool where art and science is powered by imagination.
The Museum also looks to build relationships with organizations focused on education and science fiction. Each year, the Museum of Science Fiction’s annual conference, Escape Velocity, provides our largest outreach platform.
There’s just no shortage of amazing! Between the nonstop events at Escape Velocity and all the fun ways to play at National Harbor, your family is sure to be occupied all weekend! Book a hotel room for naptime and stay all weekend! Here are the Top 13 things to do, because we just couldn’t narrow it down to 10!
No sense waiting for Halloween you’ve got a good costume to wear! Think it’s especially creative? Enter our costume contest, judged by Hollywood Designer Deborah Landis!
Go to the Nearest Museum – The Museum of Science Fiction Gallery!
Take a self guided tour through our Gallery in the Annapolis 2 room right there at the Convention Center! This year, we celebrate special Sci Fi anniversaries and creators with costumes, models, paintings. There are some scary monsters, so be prepared!
Physics disguised as Stage Fighting with the DC Stunt Coalition!
Did you know your body is like a big system of pulleys? Did you know that to get the maximum force from your lightsaber, it’s all about your stance? Come to multiple demos and workshops with the DC Stunt Coalition to see how stage fighting is really done!
Learn to Code – the Sci Fi Way
Attend one of many coding workshops by Boolean Girl or come for an interactive Minecraft session with D Coder Kids. See our schedule here.
Hands-on activities for kids – Help a NASA Scientist
Make a beeline for the Exhibit Hall for nonstop hands-on learning projects with NASA scientists, the Artway Alliance, and our other event partners!
Trap Ghosts with the Ghostbusters!
Keep our convention free of paranormal activity! Take a selfie with the Tri-State Ghostbusters and their Ectomobile! You can play with the ghost trap, just don’t cross the streams.
You’ll never see a more complete board gaming library! And just like the public library, it’s totally free. No need for a library card, even! Educational games for kids all off ages (k-12), all the way to the most advanced strategy games (which were, no surprise, donated by our geeky lawyer.) Did we have Cosmic Encounters this year, too!
Give Darth Vader a High Five
Can you bring Darth Vader back from the dark side with some positive attention? For sure, he’ll be smiling under his helmet if you stop the 501st Legion’s pavilion in the exhibit hall to see him and his stormtroopers.
Have your parents arrested by Klingons
An early Father’s Day present? Go to the Museum Gift Store outside the exhibit hall to place a warrant for your loved ones’ arrest. Describe him to the Klingon jailers, who will place him in the Klingon Jail. For an extra donation, torture at the hands of a Klingon Warrior!
Museum CAD Catalog
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Museum of Science Fiction has included several detailed 3D printable files in our CAD Catalog. Print your own high resolution Orion III Spaceplane, Atomic Pen, and HAL 9000 wall panel. All files are creative commons and are available as a public service to our community.