Buckle your seatbelts! We’re taking a Boeing STEM trip!

Are you ready to take your class on a high flying field trip?!  Everywhere I go, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to bring real world learning experiences and projects into my classroom.  Last week, my husband and I visited our son in Seattle.  My husband and two sons are aviators, so a stop at Payne Field to visit the Museum of Flight was in order.  This was my first time touring the museum, and it was absolutely amazing!!

We entered the museum and found a large area that shared the history of flight, the International Space Station (ISS), and aircraft design.  It was amazing to see the real engines and how huge they are.  The global display of flags certainly reminded me that aviation/aerospace is a global work experience.

aviation, global, STEM
Aviation and aerospace are global projects.


Another interesting aspect focused on using natural resources to make fuel for airplanes.  Research is focusing on biofuels.  I did not know that plants are being investigated as a resource for fuel. When I think about fuels, fossils come to mind, not plants.  The display was very informative and shared current research opportunities at the University of Washington.

The other exciting component at the museum included exploration and education.  There is a Maker Space area with a variety of STEM related projects for kids of all ages to investigate. This was a lot of fun using the tools to design a working project.  I didn’t get a picture of this (I was playing), but it is certainly one area that you’ll want to investigate!  The hands on activities were fun for all!

Everywhere I go, I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to bring real world learning experiences and projects into my classroom.

As we continued our experience, we were bummed since we just missed the 3D printing presentation; however, we were able to peek into the engineering space and see the projects that are being completed.  While we were peering into the room, we saw two 3D printers working on completing a project. It was interesting to see the projects that were on display – dinosaurs and airplanes were a few.

aviation, STEM
A view of the Dreamliner aircraft. There are only 4 aircraft that transport airplane parts from around the world.

aviation, STEM
A view of the Museum of Flight featuring the maker space learning area, GE engine, and aircraft.


After our museum tour, we were off to see the Boeing hangars and tour the plant.  Food, bags, phones – really everything – were not allowed to go on this tour, due to getting proprietary information out to aircraft competitors. So . . . I don’t have any pictures.

However, this tour was a highlight!!

I never knew all the steps it takes to build an airplane – the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) was utilized and presented all over the place.  The number of planes that are built each month was impressive.  There were a variety of planes in production during our tour, so we were able to see quite a bit of work happening.  The tour guide was very informative, answered questions, and certainly made sure that you left with a brain full of learning!

This trip was such an inspiration!  I always start the year with team building activities (see post) and this learning experience is the perfect match.  However, since I am looping with my kiddos, I can’t do a repeat aviation lesson, so I’ll need to be creative and change it up a tad.

If you’re looking to learn more about aviation, visit the Museum of Flight on Facebook and use the resources below to help plan a top notch experience that will keep the kiddos flying with excitement!

Are you ready to take your class on a high flying field trip?!

Educator Resources

Whether you are an educator, parent, or student, there is a plethora of information to view that supports your education goal.  If you are fortunate to take your class to the museum in Seattle, Washington, you can choose the specific program to inspire your students.  There is also professional development opportunities, scholarships, and a variety of programs and packages for all ages.  Remember, Donors Choose is a great opportunity to get field trip funding, too!

I would love to bring the Museum of Flight into my Alaska classroom via a virtual experience.  I have emailed the Museum of Flight about this opportunity and hope for a quick response.  I’ll update this post when I get that information.


There are a variety of podcasts to share stories about aviation, aerospace, designing, building, and completing the project.  Each of these are great learning opportunities for some listening skill development.  Listening to the stories of others helps students learn from an expert and different perspective.  New podcasts are released every other Tuesday each month.

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Annette Durbin

Annette has been an educator for 29 years working in the PK-6 elementary classroom, English learner instructional specialist, district leadership, university professor, as well as a mentor for teachers nationwide. A National Board Certificated Teacher, Annette focuses her research on accelerating learning and advancing achievement, personalizing instruction, technology, and leadership in the education field.

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Candi Randolph

    I can tell by reading your post that you are passionate about both learning, and teaching. Sounds like the Museum of Flight was a fascinating experience!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Yes, Candi! Sharing the excitement with the kiddos sparks their own interest, questions, and desire to learn more. Love it!❤️

      Take care!
      ~ Annette

  2. Christa

    I love visiting museums, especially ones that look as fun and interesting as this! I’m sure every student would love a virtual experience. I hope that can happen!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Thanks, Christa! I’m working on the virtual trip. I’m certain it will be just as amazing. At least a great intro for an in person stop where kids can visit with their family. 👍🏼

      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~ Annette

  3. Ina @ Crafty For Home

    I am sure kids had a blast with the trip, it is educative and entertaining at the same time.

    1. Annette Durbin

      You bet, Ina! Although my kiddos will have a virtual experience, any trip here would be both educational and FUN!!!

      ~ Annette

  4. Kristi Ann

    What a fun field trip! both of my girls are in a STEMS program at school and we love it!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Kristi, how exciting for your girls to participate in a STEM program!! Education has certainly changed from our days. There are lots of new opportunities to inspire learning for students!!!

      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~ Annette

  5. Melissa Parcel

    I haven’t been to Boeing for years, looks like it would be fun to do again.

    1. Annette Durbin

      Yes, Melissa!! This is totally worth a visit!! Let me know when you get there and about your experience.

      Take care,
      ~ Annette

  6. gail

    This would be a great field trip! Good call!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Thanks, Gail! Yes, an in person trip would be totally amazing! Can you imagine the excitement?!?

      Thanks for stopping by!
      ~ Annette

  7. Michele Vadnais

    I hope you are able to get this for your students…it looks like a great teaching/learning activity!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Thanks, Michele! I’m working on the virtual aspect. Although a personal experience would be best, not quite practical from Alaska. Kids love the learning!!

      ~ Annette

  8. Pam

    Looks like a great place to visit. We always look for places on trips that will be educational as well as fun!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Awesome, Pam!! This is certainly a place to add to your list. What other places would you recommend??

      ~ Annette

  9. Rachel Abeyta Newlon

    My best childhood friend worked for Boeing for many years. Her husband worked for JPL and helped build the Mars Rovers. I honestly believe that if they hadn’t had opportunities like this, they would never have gotten into their lines of work! Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Hello Rachel, I agree. Many kids don’t know which direction to head after high school. Providing a variety of experiences helps kids figure it out.

      Have a great day!
      ~ Annette

  10. Anitra

    This looks like such a fun STEM activity. Such a great interactive trip!

    1. Annette Durbin

      Hello Anitra, yes engaging students in hands on learning sparks excitement!! Thanks for stopping by.
      ~ Annette

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