Alumni often talk about the impact of the Space Camp and Aviation Challenge programs make on kids. The studies that we have show that kids who attend those program are more likely to take part in STEM jobs later in life. A lucky few even become astronauts. However, Space Camp and Aviation Challenge programs are expensive and there have long been scholarship programs in place to help those who needed a little help to make it to camp.
What some often forget about is that there is a lot more at the space center than just camp programs. The museum is actually where my love all things technical and space related flourished. As I’ve mentioned before, my late aunt, Corene Miller, used to give me the gift of visiting the center each year as either a birthday or Christmas gift. That was a big thing for me because at the time my mother was raising me as a single parent on a limited budget. To be quite honest, we couldn’t afford it. My aunt gave me an experience that would be forever life changing.
Today the U.S. Space and Rocket Center announced, in partnership with the Museums for All program, that those who currently receive SNAP benefits will given a special admission rate of $3 per person, up to four people. This is amazing news because we all know that the next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts don’t all come from families that have $100 for a family of four to just walk in the door. (estimate based based on 4 adults age 13 and over, general admission with no movies, tours or planetarium) While the center has been active in participating in free admission programs like the annual Smithsonian Museum Day, the experience on those days is less than ideal. With so many people in the museum, it is difficult to have an idea of how much a guest is really able to absorb and take in the magnificence and wonder of the facility.
I have no idea who to thank, but thank you! This is a move in the right direction that I am sure will pay dividends in the long run. I am so very grateful that the museum has found its true purpose again in being a resource for everyone in the community.
Those wishing to use the Museum for All program must present a SNAP Electronics Benefit (EBT) card and personal ID. Museums for All pricing does not apply to field trips or birthday parties, movies or presentations in the INTUITIVE® Planetarium or National Geographic Theater or other add-ons.
The Museums for All program by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and is administered by the Association of Children’s Museums. For more information visit https://museums4all.org/
Wes is a two time Space Camp graduate and space enthusiast with a love of North Alabama. When he isn't busy being a dad he enjoys travel, volunteering and working his life away. All comments are my own.