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Why do we need a world-class science museum, planetarium and technology center?
In 1982, Texas was gearing up to celebrate the 150th birthday. In preparation, the Texas Sesquicentennial Museum Board was formed to consider the possibility of commemorating the occasion with the development of a Sesquicentennial Museum. After intensive and exhaustive study, it was determined that a science and technology museum would hold, “the greatest opportunity to serve the best interest of the State”.
Unfortunately, the plans for this museum never came to fruition, and thirty years later Austin still lacks a full-spectrum science museum and remains the largest city in the United States without a planetarium. Since then, the need to keep up with the ever-changing technological and scientific landscape has only become more profound.
Here are some of the many reasons Austin and Central Texas need this facility…
"Unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty or the capacity for self-governance"
Texas Declaration of Independence
There are few things as important as a quality education. Knowledge opens doors and allows individuals to pursue the lives and careers that fulfill them. However, knowledge isn’t always accessible, engaging or inspirational. To make it so, it needs to be presented at the right time in the right way.
In the Science Museum we will strive to provide the best possible experience for students and visitors. Exhibits will be designed to maximize their educational impact by utilizing the most current techniques of interactivity. Entire areas of the facility will be dedicated classrooms to accommodate school groups. With the latest in communications technologies, these classrooms would connect students with great minds from around the world, creating a networked learning environment through which ideas can be shared at the speed of light.
There will be two planetarium domes in the facility, one for the blockbuster planetarium shows produced around the world and one geared more towards the traditional night-sky or starfield presentations. The traditional style planetarium will be ideally suited for school groups looking to explore the cosmos and the many dynamic systems it contains.
The Technology Center will not only inform the community about the many technological innovations that occur in the Austin and throughout Texas, but it will also help them understand how they work and why they are important.
The current financial climate in our nation has put the American Dream in jeopardy for many. Jobs are hard to come by, wages aren’t keeping pace with expenses; meanwhile the United States is falling behind in the generation of engineers and scientists as those jobs go unfilled. The need to create more professionals in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is a nation-wide topic of discussion. Science museums and planetariums have a proven ability to elevate interest and understanding in the subjects they address and will inspire young minds to pursue academic and professional career paths in STEM subjects.
Needless to say, the proposed Science Museum, Planetarium and Technology Center facility would generate jobs and revenue in a variety of ways. The development will attract over 600,000 annual visitors and will create more than 650 full and part-time jobs to the area, over $10 million in tax revenue over 10 years, ground rents for the State, and $60 million in annual economic impact. Furthermore, through its presence in the Capital City, it will serve as point of pride for the City and the State alike.
Exploration and Expanding Horizons
Our dreams and aspirations need a stage.
So often, the daily grind becomes all-encompassing. Active minds need to explore and discover in order to grow. A facility such as this will be a launch pad, a stage, a classroom, a playground for dreams and aspirations. Austin is already well known for its highly educated and creative population and with a facility such as this we can truly inspire the next generation of great thinkers, explorers and creators.