First Class Problem Solvers (Virtual)

First Class Problem Solvers

Program Description

In this STEM based virtual program designed for those in 1st through 3rd grade, students will learn about and practice the processes we all use when problem solving, applying them to everyday life situations, and situations unique to the US Postal Service. After learning about the steps of problem-solving, they will apply those steps to analyze real-life examples of problems that the US Postal Service was tasked with creatively solving. To conclude, in an asynchronous activity, students collaborate in teams to apply their problem-solving skills in order to design, build, and test a container that will safely ship a single potato chip through the mail without it breaking. The National Postal Museum can provide the materials required for the asynchronous portion of this program, in advance to the teacher. Please indicate upon registration if this is something you will need.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is this program right for my students?

  • Grade Level
    This virtual program is designed for students in 1st through 3rd grade. We can accommodate a maximum of two grade levels for a registered program, e.g., grades 1 and 2. We cannot accommodate a request for more than two grade levels, e.g., 4th-8th or kindergarten-4th. If your group is mixed grade levels more than two grades apart, please reach out to NPMEducation@si.edu, to discuss a custom program.
  • Homeschool Groups
    We are pleased to be able to offer our student programs to home-school groups as well as to traditional schools. Home-school groups must fit the same criteria as traditional school groups. Please consult the guidelines on this page to determine whether your homeschool group meets the requirements.
  • Number of students
    The minimum number of students we can accommodate for this program is 10. The maximum number of students we can accommodate virtually for this program is 30. If you would like to host more than the maximum number, please schedule multiple times and/or dates for your visit.
  • Dates and Times
    This in person program is available between 9:30am-12:00pm ET, Tuesdays through Fridays. Special requests for dates and times outside of our regularly scheduled programs are considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program Duration
    This program is 45 minutes long.
  • Technology Needs
    In order to adhere to Smithsonian Institution policies regarding the protection of minors, the National Postal Museum requires that the virtual program meeting link be generated by the teacher. Please ensure you can create a virtual meeting for your class prior to submitting your registration request. A screen or blank wall that can be used to project images throughout is also required for this program. Once the program is confirmed, an educator from the National Postal Museum will coordinate with you on additional technology logistics.
  • Chaperones
    Adult chaperones are required for all student programs. A minimum of one chaperone must remain online for the duration of the program. Failure to provide a chaperone for the entire session may result in the cancellation of a program.
  • If You are Late
    The National Postal Museum has the right to cancel or alter the scheduled program if your group is more than 10 minutes late. All programs will end at the designated time.
  • Cancellations
    If you need to cancel or reschedule a student program, please email the Student and Teacher Programs Manager at NPMEducation@si.edu at least one week prior to the scheduled program. Please be aware that we may not be able to accommodate rescheduling requests because student programs fill up quickly.

Request a Reservation!

Guided student programs at the National Postal Museum will be on hold from June to August 2024. Reservations will reopen in August 2024, and programs for the 2024-2025 academic year will begin in September 2024. For inquiries, contact NPMEducation@si.edu.

You can request a reservation by submitting the registration form, linked below. Please be advised that submitting a registration form is only a request. Written confirmation (via email) from the museum constitutes a booking guarantee. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address provided on the form within one business week. Questions regarding your registration request should be directed to NPMEducation@si.edu.

Registration