Petersen Automotive Museum Streams Free Automotive Lessons for Kids Under 12

For students looking for supplemental learning activities during school closures, the Petersen Automotive Museum will offer free educational live streams twice daily beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Daily presentations will consist of a lecture at 10 a.m. and a hands-on activity at 1 p.m. In addition to live stream programming, the museum will offer downloadable worksheets and coloring sheets. The museum will remain closed to the public until March 31, 2020, or until further notice.

Although lessons are open to parents and children of all ages, the subject matter is targeted for children ages 12 and under. The program schedule is below, and topics are subject to change.

  • Wednesday, March 18, 10 a.m. – History of the Car
    Cars have been in existence for more than a century (or longer, depending on when you start). Join the Petersen as it explores the evolution of the automobile.
  • Wednesday, March 18, 1 p.m. – License Plates
    License plates identify vehicles as properly registered with the state but may also serve as a canvas. Students will create their own license plates and decorate them to show off something about their home state.
  • Thursday, March 19, 10 a.m. – Storytime Featuring “Go, Dog, Go!” By P.D. Eastman
    Students will read the beloved tale about dogs and their cars.
  • Thursday, March 19, 1 p.m. – Animal Cars
    Students will make a car of their favorite animal with materials found around the house.
  • Friday, March 20, 10 a.m. – Design Process
    Utilizing the car, students will explore how things go from idea to finished product.
  • Friday, March 20, 1 p.m. – Car Models
    A critical part of automotive design is creating a model. Students will create car models to show how the modeling process can help to explore design choices.
  • Future lessons will cover propulsion, aerodynamics, racing and a host of other topics.

After the lesson is live-streamed the video is available for vievwing. If you missed this today’s lessons they are availalbe on:

Balloon Cars For a car to move, a force must be applied. Students will explore propulsion and Newton’s Third Law of Motion by making their own balloon cars.

Force and Motion: Cars are about motion. While it may seem simple to press a pedal and move forward, there are dozens of forces interacting that must be balanced to produce motion. From Newton’s laws to different types of energy, students will learn the simple physics behind the automobile.


“The Petersen Automotive Museum offers students an opportunity to gain an education during school closure and in between their digital course loads,” said Petersen Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Our special programming will broaden kids’ knowledge and expose them to the world of the automobile.”

To learn more about the Petersen Automotive Museum’s online educational programming, access daily lecture and activity documents, and view the live streams, please visit

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