October 28, 2019 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Aero Design Challenge

Grades 5-12

School Groups
October 28-30 & November 4-6, 2019

General Public
Saturday November 2, 2019 & February 22, 2020

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM (10 AM – 1 PM October 28)

October 29 & 30 and November 5 & 6 FULL


Aero Design Challenge is an exploration into design and engineering.   Each 3-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.

Held annually since 2013, 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 3,000 participants since its inception.

Rocket Challenge

For this year’s Aero Design Challenge, participants investigate rocket propulsion while designing, building and flying an air powered rocket capable of attaining an altitude goal and landing as close as possible to the center of a target zone!

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 and the Museum’s collection of historic air and spacecraft.

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.