November 4, 2018 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Aero Design Challenge

Grades 5-8

Monday-Tuesday, October 29-30
Monday-Wednesday, November 5-7
Sunday, May 12
1:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Sunday, June 23
1:30 PM – 4:00 PM



Aero Design Challenge is an exploration into design and engineering.   Each 2.5-hour program explores concepts in aeronautics that challenges participants to construct a working prototype.

Each student in the Aero Design Challenge participates in a series of discovery experiences in the Hiller Aviation Museum’s main gallery, including:

  • Wind tunnel experiments
  • Examination of full-scale aircraft
  • Flight simulation
  • Model helicopter flight tests

Following the exploration period, students join a small team to construct, test, improve and present a model helicopter able to satisfy the design requirements.

Now entering its sixth year, the Aero Design Challenge is part of the Bay Area Science Festival and celebrates the design thinking process in the world of flight. Offered at no cost to participants through the generous support of sponsors and the engagement of scores of volunteers from local technology businesses and universities,  the Aero Design Challenge has engaged over 2,000 participants since its inception.

Aero Design Challenge generously sponsored by:

Helicopter Challenge

For this year’s Aero Design Challenge, participants investigate lift and aerodynamics while designing, building and flying a helicopter capable of remaining in flight the longest possible time!

Aero Design Challenge participants work in teams of up to 4 students, accompanied by a volunteer mentor, to investigate vertical flight.  Discovery stations include the Invention Lab, Wind Tunnel and Flight Simulator Lab; the Drone Plex’s flight enclosure will be used for experimental helicopter flights.

How to Register

Aero Design Challenge programs are provided to participants at no charge, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.  School groups may complete a field trip reservation request using the Museum’s convenient online request system.  Individuals and small groups may enroll using the Aero Design Challenge registration portal.

All Aero Design Challenge participants will receive a confirmation email and additional information regarding the program approximately one week prior to program date.  Make your plans now to join an exceptional hands-on aerospace engineering experience.

Exciting News!

The California Association of Museums and State Superintendent’s Office of Public Instruction have awarded the Hiller Aviation Museum the Excellence in Museum Education Award for its Aero Design Challenge.

Click here for more information.