We’re strengthening our foundation to build an amazing future.
A $900,000 initiative to have a greater impact on our community.
This initiative strengthens and expands our educational program, which focuses on ages 0-14. By age 5, a child’s brain is 90% developed with cognitive, emotional, and language skills. By age 8, a child’s brain is rapidly understanding abstract concepts. And by 14, a teen’s brain has developed the capacity for high-order critical thinking. Focused science programming during these important developmental years is critical to cultivating the creative and critical-thinking leaders of tomorrow.
A recent Multi-Institute Science Center Impact Study determined that among five types of science learning experiences “visiting Science Centers was the ONLY one that consistently affected both youth and adults’ science interest in both the past and the present” and that “Science Centers are clearly vital to creating a STEM literate society.” Help us empower our community to innovatively use STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to better our world.
With your help, we can…
We are reimagining our planetarium, one of the largest in the entire Pacific Northwest, to become a community asset capable of showing immersive educational shows, visualizing complex data, instructing a diversity of higher education curriculum, and showcasing community-made digital art and 360 degree films. Our updated planetarium will also include new seating, theatrical lighting, and laser show equipment.
Marion Sweeney, Kate Laue, and Cama Evans have pledged up to $35,000 to match by April 2019 to help complete the planetarium’s renovation that began in 2018 with the installation of its new projection system. As part of Phase 2, we are offering community members the option to sponsor new seats by having names engraved on armrest plaques. There will be three levels of sponsorships – $250, $500, and $750 depending on the location of each seat.
Thanks to everyone who helped us match a $60,000 challenge grant in 2018! The Richard P. Haugland Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation matched community donations of $60,000 for new, state-of-the-art planetarium equipment that was installed in August 2018.
We value sustainability! Imagine a 32.5 kW solar array onsite that offsets over 52,000 lbs of CO2 every year – the equivalent to planting 663 trees yearly! Utility cost-savings will go directly toward our educational programs.
We’ve partnered with Everybody Solar to help us achieve this goal, and we’re thrilled to announce that we have raised 95% of our fundraising goal, and our panels are now being installed.
New museum exhibits
We can now create fun, engaging, and empowering science exhibits in-house in our new exhibit fabrication workshop. We’ll create empowering experiences relevant to our community that highlight local research and interests.
Eugene Solar System Trail
We’re also working with the City of Eugene to adopt, update, upgrade, and expand Oregon’s only scaled solar system trail (and one of the first in the country) that spans 3.7 miles along the beautiful Willamette River.
We need more space to properly welcome and accommodate our guests, so we’re planning to expand our front entrance to create a new 900 sq. ft lobby with new ADA accessible door openers, and a larger museum store that’s more accommodating. We also intend to create a new covered entrance to welcome field trips and other large groups.
Imagine a new 3,400 square-foot outdoor science park filled with large interactive science experiences! We also plan on creating a new outdoor classroom for outdoor science activities and citizen science programs with our guests, students, and campers.
Our building was constructed in 1979 and has many of its original features. We’re planning on adding windows to let natural light into our exhibit gallery, renovate our restrooms to save over 165,000 gallons of water every year, update our facade by adding new architectural elements, and update our network and technology to work and educate more effectively and efficiently.
We’ve been hard at work since early 2017 on this major initiative! With generous support from our community, we’ve already completed the following projects:
(1) a new fabrication workshop to create exhibits, (2) renovated our offices and support areas, (3) a new community room, (4) created 9 new science exhibits, (5) rebranded with a new name, (6) created a new website, (7) installed new windows in our exhibit gallery, (8) installed new state-of-the-art planetarium equipment, and (9) opened a new Discovery Room. THANK YOU!
We’re also close to completing these projects:
(1) new Tot Spot experiences, (2) 3 new science exhibits, (3) a major solar panel array, and (4) a new outdoor classroom. THANK YOU!