Best places for STEM education in Washington, D.C.

stem education

When you think of Washington, D.C., you may think of the historical significance of the nation’s capital. From the Washington Monument to the White House to the Lincoln Memorial, D.C. is filled with history and politics—but that’s not all this city has to offer. You can easily tailor an educational tour to Washington, D.C., to support almost any curriculum, including science, math, and technology.

Looking to bring STEM education to life for your students when you’re in D.C.? Here are four places where it’s on full display.

The Albert Einstein Memorial
On the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences lives the Albert Einstein Memorial. The climbable, bronze statue commemorates the life and accomplishments of the renowned physicist.

In the statue’s left hand are papers emblazoned with Einstein’s most important scientific contributions: the photoelectric effect, the theory of general relativity, and the equivalence of energy and matter.

It’s a great opportunity for students to take selfies with the 12-foot statue and reflect on Einstein’s contributions.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Just outside D.C. is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, a staple for STEM education. The museum houses some of the most well-known and important aircraft and spacecraft. In one of the museum’s three hangars, you can see the Space shuttle Discovery, which traveled almost 150 million miles in space. You can also see the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb during World War II.

Along with viewing thousands of artifacts, you can learn how to operate an aircraft in the museum’s various flight simulators.

Smithsonian museums
If you’re interested in the Udvar-Hazy Center, then you’ll have to check out its companion facility, the National Air and Space Museum. Not only does the museum host artifacts from the Apollo 11 expedition, it also holds Spirit of St. Louis, the aircraft Charles Lindbergh operated during the first successful solo trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

If biology, geology, or ecology is more your thing, then the National Museum of Natural History is your next stop. Uncover close to 700 fossil specimens in the Hall of Fossils or discover the origins of the ocean (and see the jaws of the extinct Megalodon) in Ocean Hall.

Botanic Garden
Located right on the National Mall, the United States Botanic Garden hosts a living collection of some of the most beautiful and rarest plant life. From Jurassic ferns to tropical orchids to desert succulents, each individual ecosystem is carefully treated and maintained. Not only is it an Instagram influencer’s dream, the Botanic Garden also teaches the importance of preserving the environment.

Interested in other opportunities to further STEM education with EF?

Check out our other STEM tours.


Editor’s note (2020): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.

Lauren Vinciguerra

Lauren is a Web Content Editor at EF. She dreams of going to Japan one day and eating her weight in sushi.

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