Thanks to a $5 million sponsorship from GE Aviation and a strong partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is using technology to reach classrooms far beyond Washington, D.C.’s beltway.

The sponsorship from GE Aviation will expand the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s “Explainers” program, taking it online to reach children who may never get the chance to visit the U.S. Capitol. Additionally, GE Aviation has committed $1 million to Cincinnati Public Schools for technology, professional development and curriculum planning for the Online Explainers program.

david joyce 2-resizedThe idea began with the Smithsonian Institution’s vision to make America’s national artifacts accessible beyond its walls. As Chairman of the Board for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), GE Aviation President and CEO David Joyce led the program exploration between NASM and Cincinnati Public School leadership.

“This is an important next step for the Explainers program and our work to accelerate STEM education,” said Joyce. “We are using technology to reach schools and kids who may not have the opportunity to come to the museum, and position the National Air and Space Museum as an institutional role model for what a focus on STEM education can really accomplish beyond the walls of the museum. The Explainers are perfect ambassadors for NASM with these kids, and we are excited to sponsor this program.”

“Explainers” are high school and college students, employed by the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, to connect learners to iconic artifacts and stories about the science and technology that make innovation possible. The five-year GE Aviation sponsorship will expand the existing in-museum Explainers program, and launch the new Online Explainers. These Online Explainers are specially trained to conduct live, curriculum-aligned science lessons for students remotely through interactive video conferencing.


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