February 18, 2023 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Aero Design Challenge

Grades 4-8

School Groups
October 2022 – April 2023, by Reservation Only
Groups of 30 Students or More

General Public
February 18, 2023


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:

  • Invention Lab glider experiments
  • Examination of full-scale aircraft
  • Flight simulation
  • Exploration of Museum Gallery

Following the exploration period, students join a small team to construct, test, improve and present a model glider 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 3,500 participants since its inception.

Aero Design Challenge generously sponsored by:

Glider Challenge

For this year’s Aero Design Challenge, participants investigate the four forces of flight while designing, building and flying an elastic powered glider capable of flying the maximum possible distance with a calibrated amount of thrust.

Aero Design Challenge participants work in small groups to explore glider flight.  Discovery stations include the Invention Lab and Flight Simulator Lab, and the Museum’s collection of historic air and spacecraft.

How to Register

Aero Design Challenge programs are provided to students at no charge, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. One adult is admitted at no charge for every eight students, with additional adults admitted at $10.00/adult. School groups (minimum 30 students) may complete a field trip reservation request using the Museum’s convenient online request system. 

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.