School Field Trip Programs

For distance-learning virtual programs, visit the Distance Learning Page.

Enhance the Hiller Aviation Museum experience for your students by scheduling a hands-on program as part of your visit. A variety of programs are available for different grade levels and include model aircraft, aviation weather, aerodynamics labs and flight simulation in the Flight Sim Zone. Programs last 50 minutes and require a program fee in addition to Museum admission.

All programs are presented in compliance with state and county health rules.  Hiller Aviation Museum staff members teaching hands-on programs are verified as fully vaccinated.  Class sizes are limited to 25 and program fees apply on a per-child basis.  Larger classes may divide into two or more smaller ones to participate in hands-on programs.

This is an exciting, excellent program that gives students a vision for what they could possibly do in their futures, plus gives them fresh appreciation for the science of flight.

10th Grade Teacher

Sierra View Christian School

All programs are aligned with California State Content Standards in science or math and are intended to be completed in conjunction with a guided tour. The Aerodynamics Tour is strongly recommended for junior high groups participating in a Forces of Flight program.

How to Schedule Your School Program

1.   Determine at least two possible dates for your field trip or distance program.

2.   Use the Distance Learning Request Form to make a reservation for a remote program.

3.   Use the Field Trip Request form to make a reservation for a traditional onsite field trip.

4.   A credit card is required to confirm all reservations, but payment is not due until the day of the program.

Program Topics

Aircraft Design and Engineering

Amazing Aircraft I

Grades K-5, 50-Minute Duration
Program Fee $4.50/child (plus Museum admission)

Our most popular hands-on program! Learn the different kinds of aircraft and identify the parts of an airplane before building and flying a simple balsa glider. Grades 4-5 add control surfaces to guide their glider’s flight. It ’s an adventure in aviation!

Aero Design Challenge

Available October 2022 – April 2023
Grades 4-8, 2.5 Hour Duration
Special Restrictions (See Below)
No Charge

The Hiller Aviation Museum’s annual celebration of engineering, the Aero Design Challenge provides middle school students with an immersive, hands-on experience in flight.  Students are introduced to the Engineering Design Process, experience different Discovery station rotations focused on the science of gliders, then work in pairs to design, build, test and improve an elastic-powered glider!

Aero Design Challenge is available at no charge through the generosity of Hiller Aviation Museum sponsors.  Availability is limited to schools with 2 or more classes, and additional date restrictions may apply.

Amazing Aircraft II

Grades 3-8, 50-Minute Duration
Program Fee $6.00/child (plus Museum admission)

Take flight with a rubber-powered airplane! Recommended for older students, Amazing Aircraft II features construction and flight of a larger, propeller powered balsa airplane. Grades 4-8 add control surfaces to guide their airplane’s flight. Launch into the amazing world of aircraft!

Physical Science

Flight and Motion

Grades 2-8, 50-Minute Duration
Program Fee $4.50/Child (plus Museum admission)

How do the forces of flight affect a glider?  Children conduct an inquiry-based investigation into lift, weight, thrust and drag and conduct an experiment to discover how changes to an aircraft wing affect performance.  All participants keep a small balsa glider.

Flight Planning Lab

Grades 5-12, 90-Minute Duration
Program Fee $9.00/child (plus Museum admission)

Science, math and aviation come together in a three-part experience! Students inspect a small aircraft, use aviation charts to plan a flight between airports, and fly a portion of the planned flight in the Flight Sim Zone. Careful consideration of terrain contours and calculations of fuel consumption and velocity are essential to ensure a safe mission.

Flight Simulator Lab

Grades 3-12, 50-Minute Duration
Program Fee $6.00/child (plus Museum admission)

Enter the Museum’s Flight Sim Zone, where every student has the opportunity to control a simulated airplane through several realistic, age-appropriate missions. Using state-of-the-art flight simulation equipment and software, students work in pairs to master aircraft control while flying through a beautiful reproduction of the Bay Area and other locations worldwide.

Introduction to Aviation

Grades 3-6, 90-Minute Duration
Program Fee $9.00/child (plus Museum admission)

Combine flight simulation and glider construction to explore aviation from every angle! Students conduct a hands-on inspection of a real airplane, build a flying model glider and try their hand flying a small airplane in the Flight Sim Zone. It’s an all-inclusive aviation experience!

Weather and Earth Science

Eye on the Sky

Grades K-2, 50-minute duration
Program Fee $4.50/child (plus Museum admission)

Explore the world of weather!  Discover the water cycle’s role in cloud formation and identify the cloud types that impact aviation. Construct a model of the water cycle and a cloud identification card.

Night Flight

Grades 3-8, 90-Minute Duration
Program Fee $9.00/child plus $35 per day (plus Museum admission)

Take flight under the stars in a spectacular hands-on exploration of the sky! Identify stars, planets, constellations and directions under the arch of the Starlab dome. Take the controls of a small airplane in the flight simulators to master basic aircraft control, then take on the challenge of navigating to a successful landing under simulated nighttime conditions.

Star Watchers

Grades K-8, 30-Minute Duration
Program Fee $4.50/child plus $35 per day (plus Museum admission)

Take an adventure into the night-time sky! Students enter a giant inflatable Starlab dome to explore by day the stars, planets and constellations that will be visible in the sky that night and discover the means by which early navigators found directions and plotted their courses by the stars.

Storm Chasers

Grades 3-8, 50-Minute Duration
Program Fee $6.00/child (plus Museum admission)

Explore how weather affects flight in a challenging foul-weather flight simulation. Discover thunderstorms and other weather hazards and how they affect aircraft, and then enter the Flight Sim Zone to embark on a realistic mission into inclement conditions. It’s a thrilling adventure to the edge of aviation!

Fee Waivers for Low Income Schools Schools with at least 30% of students qualified to receive free or reduced price meals may complete a request for fee waivers or (for onsite field trips) transportation reimbursement.  Three different forms of support are available:

Reservations must be booked in advance of consideration of any and all school program assistance requests. Contact the Education office, or (650) 654-0200 x 215, for more information.