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With NASA, Museum Captures Engineering Excitement via Planetarium Show & More

October 18, 2014

With support from NASA, the Museum of Science, Boston is creating a vibrant array of educational programs for people of all ages involving NASA's exploration of the universe and its space program.

Partnering with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, the Museum is producing From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA Engineering, a full-dome show for the Museum's state-of-the-art Charles Hayden Planetarium. Opening December 1, the show reveals how NASA missions move from concept to reality by following the engineering of two real projects. At NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, Maryland, engineers are building the James Webb Space Telescope, one of the most massive and sophisticated spacecraft ever tried. At the same time, the New Horizons probe, the fastest spacecraft ever launched, is heading to Pluto. Capturing the excitement of engineering, the show also addresses the importance of problem-solving, learning from mistakes, and collaboration. Granted special access, the Museum captured never-before filmed live-action footage to blend with the latest 3-D animation.

On November 15, partnering with NASA, ECAST, and Arizona State University, the Museum will engage 100 citizens representing diverse backgrounds in a citizen forum on NASA's Asteroid Initiative, called Earth, Asteroids, and Beyond. Participants will deliberate and offer input to decision-makers shaping the space program on questions like: What should we do to protect Earth from the threat of an asteroid impact? How do we detect asteroids? Where do gaps and vulnerabilities lie? How should we balance costs, risks, and benefits?

Also supported by NASA, an Engineering Adventures® out-of-school time unit, Liftoff, enables elementary-level children to learn how NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers rovers to explore distant worlds and rockets to launch them by asking kids to build rocket and rover models. In The Sky's the Limit, children design models of flying technologies like those helping NASA collect aerial photographs. Liftoff is free to download now and The Sky's the Limit will be available by January 2015. The activities are based on the Engineering is Elementary® curriculum, a project of the Museum's National Center for Technological Literacy®.

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The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500