The nation’s capital is a treasure trove of history, science and art, so a visit to DC’s top museums is a must for teachers.
A visit will not only inspire and educate, but will provide teachers with endless educational material to take back to the classroom.
Washington’s museums are more of a journey than a destination. They are national treasures that encompass the culture of our heritage. So teachers with a mission to explore must go in with the mindset to learn.
Educational travel has become a common way for teachers to take group trips with the idea of learning all they can from being on the ground, whether it is a trip to the Galapagos or California’s historical sites. A trip to Washington DC is the same – assuming one goes with mission to research, explore and learn. It presents inquisitive participants with many facets of our cultural heritage.
Special tours are available specifically designed for educators to get the most out of a DC visit. The experience itself is an exploratory process that is as much to be valued as the sites themselves. If you are a curious lifelong learner it is imperative that you perform research in order to discover answers that lead to more questions.
Thus, a participant should prepare for a site visit by conducting investigations to gain a better appreciation of the knowledge and inspiration that the national treasure will offer. At the locale itself, questions are posed that further one’s desire to engage in additional study. Therefore touring the site and becoming engrossed in the process becomes the true national treasure.
The Smithsonian Institution is the catch-all when it comes to our nation’s museums. It is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with approximately 154 million artifacts and specimens in its trust for the American people.
The Smithsonian boasts that its museums are dedicated to public education; national service; and scholarship in art, design, science, technology, history, and culture. Most of the museums are located in the Washington, DC, area with two in New York City. Many research centers also host visitors.
The Air and Space Museum: Launch into the history of flight by surrounding yourself with icons of air and space travel. The flagship building on the National Mall in Washington, DC, contains twenty-three galleries exhibiting hundreds of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and other flight-related artifacts. The museum has a planetarium and an IMAX theater for out-of-this-world escapes.
National Museum of African American History and Culture: Recently opened in late 2016, the museum is the only one in the nation that is devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. It features a variety of exhibits and educational programs on topics such as slavery, post-Civil War reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the civil rights movement.
National Museum of American History: Devoted to the scientific, cultural, social, technological, and political development of the United States, the museum traces the American experience from colonial times to the present. The American History Museum’s collection contains more than three million historical objects—including the famed Star-Spangled Banner—and documents that explore the evolution of the American identity.
National Museum of the American Indian: The National Museum of the American Indian cares for one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native objects, photographs, and media, covering the entire Western Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego. The museum’s sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.
These are just a handful of sites to visit on a Washington DC trip.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get exploring.