National Air and Space Museum Releases Free Children's App Pilot Pals
Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
A new iPad app from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum guides children to learn about airplanes and rockets through four games inspired by the history of early flight. Pilot Pals, the museum's first app, also enables children ages 4 to 6 to personalize their experience by naming their hangar and choosing a Pilot Pal to accompany them. The app's content and aesthetics are based on the early learners section of the "Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery," incorporating games and artifacts from the exhibition. No matter where children are located, at home or in the classroom, they can learn from the museum and its collection.
Pilot Pals' four games—Gears, Weather, Rocket Stacking and
Airplane Parts—introduce children to basic concepts about weather, parts of the airplane, rockets, sizes, shapes and patterns. All the aircraft in Pilot Pals are based on aircraft from the museum's collection and include the Douglas World Cruiser Chicago, the Lockheed 5B Vega, the Piper J-2 Cub and the Autogiro Company of America AC-35.
"This new app helps us advance our strategy of reaching beyond the walls of the museum," said Maureen Kerr, education chair at the museum. "It allows us to provide fun and meaningful educational experiences for children who are unable to visit and learn with us in person."
The Pilot Pals iPad app is free and is available on the App Store. Pilot Pals can also be played on computers and mobile devices on the "Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery" website. This new app is made possible through the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.
The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.