Possible Supplemental Opening Event Programs by NCESSE

4/12/21 – this page is in development

Voyage Exhibition Opening Events
The community’s approach to the opening of a Voyage exhibition can vary dramatically, from just an announcement in the local media, to a suite of events and programs for, e.g., the general public, school groups, families, teachers, VIPs, and representatives of the stakeholder organizations. For Voyage on the National Mall, and for the Voyage Mark I installations in Kansas City, Corpus Christi, and Houston, opening events were extensive.

The cost of opening event activities can therefore be significant, and your community’s stakeholder organizations, many of which have both public affairs and event planning staff, should begin defining an opening plan as soon as the community is ready to move forward with signing a contract for the purchase of a Voyage exhibition.


NCESSE Available Opening Event Programs
The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) can provide supplemental opening event programming, which at the current time includes:

i) a Voyage presentation on the universe for the public, families, and student groups, based on the presentations for NCESSE’s Family Science Night program at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, which typically addresses audiences of 400.

ii) a presentation on STEM education for educators, with a focus on Voyage and the universe

iii) a team of space science researchers and educators from national organizations across the nation – the Voyage Visiting Researchers and Visiting Educators – talking to potentially thousands of students in classrooms – one classroom at a time, through NCESSE’s To Earth and Beyond initiative.

Note: any NCESSE programming is an added cost, which includes travel expenses, the cost of logistical coordination, and presenter time for any presenters that are NCESSE staff. A community interested in exploring these add-on program elements should contact NCESSE to discuss options, and obtain an estimated cost.


Key Presenters and Presentation Summaries  

Presenter: Dr. Jeff Goldstein [Bio]
Program Director, SSEP National Program; Voyage National Program; Family Science Night at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Center Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE)

Sample Address for the General Public
Title: A Voyage that will Forever Change Your Perspective of Home

When we venture beyond our home and explore a greater landscape—whether it’s the town beyond our house, or a planet beyond the Earth—we gain a deeper sense of our own existence. It’s a fundamental principle of exploration. To truly know and appreciate our home, we must leave it. So to truly know and appreciate a place called Earth, we must venture beyond it, and recognize the breadth and majesty of a greater universe.

From another vantage point—we are integrally connected to the universe, and it to us—so to know the universe is to know ourselves. And while we may seem small in its shadow, beauty has nothing to do with size—for the universe is revealed with something the size of the human mind.

You’re invited to the story of our existence—a race of explorers, 7 billion tiny souls strong. It is a story that ignites wonder about the universe, and a sense of pride in our ability to reveal its nature through both human imagination and ingenuity. It is a story that humbles us, and brings a sense of humility to our lives. It is a voyage that will forever change your perspective of home.

Sample Address to Students

Title: How Big is Big?

It’s a big, often intimidating universe out there. How do we even begin to fathom objects and distances that dwarf anything we’ve ever experienced? Yet Earth’s place in space is knowable. The secret is placing the universe in a context that is familiar, by using rulers, clocks and models – all powered by the language of nature – mathematics.

You’re invited to the story of our existence—a race of explorers, 7 billion tiny souls strong. It is a story that humbles us, and brings a sense of humility to our lives. It is a voyage that will forever change your perspective of home.

Take this magical journey with Dr. Jeff from spaceship Earth to points unknown.

Sample Address for Educators – with Focus on STEM Education

Title: Human Exploration – It’s Not a Book of Knowledge … It’s a Journey

Every parent remembers that magical time when our children first began to speak, that moment marking the beginning of an unending stream of questions. In our children we can see our humanity — our innate curiosity — and recognize the obvious … that we are born to explore!

Science and more generally STEM, in all its seeming complexity, is nothing but a means to organize curiosity. A way to empower one’s self to ask the gift of a question, and to hone the art that allows navigation through the noise of the universe around us in quest of an answer. It is an emotional, joyful, and wondrous journey that hopefully allows the traveler to pull back the veil of nature just a little, see how she operates, and celebrate the accomplishment.

STEM education is no different. It is the means by which we immerse our children in the act of journey by letting them do science, and acknowledging it is their journey. As teachers, our sweet reward is seeing the joys of learning wash over them. And as teachers, we are charged with nothing less than patiently and gently launching the explorations of an entire generation.

Relevant Tweets from @doctorjeff:

If this is not included, it’s not good Science Education -> #SCIENCE: Student-Centric Inquiry Enabled by Natural Curiosity and Exploration

What you don’t know is a gift … because you can ask a question and start a journey.

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