SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums will welcome state Sen. Eric Lesser on Monday, Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. to announce a $100,000 earmark from the Commonwealth to help fund the International Space Station exhibit in the Springfield Science Museum. The public is welcome to attend this announcement on the Quadrangle green.
Earmarks from the Commonwealth are a source of funding outside the normal budgeting process for specific programs and services. Elected officials sponsor and advocate for earmarks to benefit their constituents. Gov. Charlie Baker approves, rejects, or amends earmarks as needed.
“As a valued informal STEM learning space, we were very excited to continue work on the International Space Station exhibit,” said Kay Simpson, president and CEO of the Springfield Museums. “The funding secured by Senator Lesser is a welcome addition to the funds needed to open this important and fascinating gallery.”
The Springfield Museums is constructing a fully immersive representation of the International Space Station module Destiny. The gallery will have an ‘airlock’ entrance and dynamic view of Earth from the exhibit’s bay-window cupola. The vestibule is nearing completion and will include a facsimile astronaut suit as well as interactive features that help visitors better understand the science of space exploration. Plans are also underway for a facilitated, roving ‘space cart,’ which will include items from an astronaut’s gear that visitors can touch. A facilitator will be available to answer questions and share information about space travel.
Currently on view outside the gallery is an interactive screen donated by NASA. Visitors can touch the image of the International Space Station to find out more information about its function.
“We are grateful to Senator Lesser for advocating for this earmark to come to the Science Museum,” said Mike Kerr, director of the Springfield Science Museum. “The International Space Station Gallery is sure to inspire young scientists to reach for the stars.”
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