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Home » Features » Museum Spotlight: Space Foundation – Colorado Springs, CO
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Museum Spotlight: Space Foundation – Colorado Springs, CO

By Ron Sparkman| @UpportunityU

Earlier this year I was on a vacation/house hunting trip with a friend of mine to the Denver area, when it was suggested that we take a trip to Colorado Springs. After a short drive, and a bit of contemplation on if I really wanted to endure snowy winters  similar to or worse than my youth, we passed by a sign that read “Discovery Center at the Space Foundation. Immediately I hopped online and found that Colorado Springs wasn’t just the home of Pike’s Peak, Garden of the Gods, and not one but TWO space museums (the other being Peterson Air and Space Museum), but it’s also the home of the Space Symposium as well. It seemed like the decision was made for me–it was–and I moved here in July.  Since then, I’ve been able to visit the museum on a few different occasions and each time I’ve had an amazing time. Walking through the place, I consistently said to myself “I wanna work here someday.” Outside of NASA, I can’t think of any museum more perfect than this place. My heart pumps every time I walk in the door, especially when an Astronaut is visiting or there’s some other new event.  The foundation is devoted entirely to the education and promotion of space; a dream for space enthusiasts of all ages.

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The layout is easily accessible and is packed full of everything under the sun (intended). From the Mars rover at the entrance to the abundance of space gear, you’ll find exhibits on also kinds of space history. The foundation is consistently adding new events to educate people in the area, such as “Summer of Discovery 2015”, a kind of space-cations for families, that brings in special guests like acclaimed astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao (check out his Ted talk here). They even change the educational theme up every few weeks to a new focus. This is a fantastic way to continually engage children and parents alike in the ever-evolving world of space science.

The main focus of the Space Foundation is their commitment to educating the public at large in a fun way. Video games, lunch with an astronaut, school art contests with contestants from around the world…all these events show their dedication to getting people involved in space. Contained within the Northrop Grunman Science Center, is the crown jewel of learning, Science on a Sphere. Projectors shine on a sphere and showcase every major heavenly body in our solar system. Want to see Enceladus? No problem. Titan? Coming right up. My hat is off to the staff of hosts for these presentations as well. Those folks are top-notch, well educated, and primed to answer any questions about our solar system. Both times there were some very bright kids in the audience asking and even answering questions about the stars. There is hope for the future!

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As I mentioned earlier, the town and the foundation are also home to the annual Space Symposium held every spring. As much as I’d like to say I can explain the event as well as the people in the video below, that would be a bald-faced lie. I was sold on attending as soon as I saw this presentation. Ok, ok, so maybe Neil Degrasse Tyson had something to do with that, but the guy’s known for being a big attraction so I don’t feel too bad. I’m extremely excited to see what this will bring to town in the spring and I’m looking forward to volunteering there long before that. Don’t forget that amazing foundations like this need us to survive so you can find info on how to volunteer here, and if you’re not local, you can always donate to help this amazing place continue to grow into the new year.
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