220px Apollo 17 Blue Marble Original Orientation (AS17 148 22727)

A Space to Wonder

Have you ever wondered why? WHY is the world—and everything on it and around it—so complex? Maybe you have wondered HOW complex things work? And maybe: WHAT impact does all this have on me?

At the Springfield Museums, we are committed to helping our visitors look at our complex world and ask questions.  Our exhibits and programming encourage curiosity and discovery.

At the Science Museum, we’ve begun an exciting journey of growth and change – an evolution that will reshape the way we use our galleries and enhance our visitors’ experience throughout the museum.  In January, we opened the Smithsonian-supported Spark!Lab invention space, and in February we began the renovation of the historic Seymour Planetarium (reopening in June). We are also building our own International Space Station exhibit.

What better way to gain a sense of the beauty, fragility, and stunning complexity of Earth than from space?

The Museums are proud to partner with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and Museums’ supporters in the construction of a fully-immersive, nearly full-size, representation of the U.S. space station module Destiny, a section of the International Space Station, now being built on the second floor of the Science Museum.  In addition, we have joined the Space Station Explorers consortium of educators, learners, and organizations to bring space-related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational content to our visitors.

Our International Space Station module will have the look and feel of the actual station, with an airlock entranceway, wallpaper made from high-resolution images of the craft’s interior, and even a facsimile of the station’s bay window “cupola.”  Our visitors will experience hands-on, interactive, displays within the module (plans include a programmable robotic arm for manipulating objects), and dynamic views of Earth from the exhibit’s cupola.  Rumor has it that there will be a space toilet as well!

Please check our blog regularly to watch as the project unfolds.

Learning is all about being curious and asking questions.  At the Springfield Museums, we have fun as we learn, and we continue to ask ourselves, “Doesn’t it make you wonder?”

Photograph of Mike Kerr of the Science MuseumMike Kerr
Principal, Innovative Advancement & Integration, Science Museum