New *Star* attraction @ Stepping Stones Museum for Children

A new, space-themed exhibition has opened at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk. A collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network), the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition will be on display at Stepping Stones in 2019 as part of a nationwide effort designed to engage audiences in the awe-inspiring fields of Earth and space science.

Packed with engaging, hands-on interactive exhibits and dazzling imagery, this 600-square-foot exhibition will connect visitors with current NASA science research and launch them on a journey to explore the universe! How is Earth changing? What is it like on other planets? Does life exist beyond Earth? What’s happening on the Sun, and how does it affect us? Sun, Earth, Universe is a new exhibition about our planet, the solar system, and the universe, and the big questions NASA is trying to answer about each.

Sun, Earth, Universe includes fun and compelling exhibits for visitors of all ages. Follow the design-build-test cycle of engineering and build a model spacecraft for your own mission to space. Spin a tumbler of 10,000 beads, representing all of the stars we can see from Earth to search for the unique one that represents our Sun. Reveal hidden images using the same tools NASA scientists employ to explore the otherwise invisible forces and energy of the universe. Take a break in the seating area and play the Your Mission to Space board game, or help younger visitors pilot rovers across the Mars landscape play table. These fun experiences (and many more!) introduce visitors to ongoing NASA research in the fields of heliophysics, Earth science, planetary science, and astrophysics, and encourage them to imagine what the future of Earth and space science might hold.

Many panels on the Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition provide question prompts and a link to explorescience.org/sun. This companion website features NASA video footage and mobile-friendly interactives that provide visitors opportunity to investigate themes further on their mobile devices while at the museum or at home using their mobile device.

“First and foremost, Stepping Stones is extremely honored to be chosen as one of the 52 institutions across the country that will be displaying this awesome exhibition during the course of the next year!” said Brian Morrissey, Director of Exhibits. “Many children are fascinated with outer space, but this exhibit isn’t just for those who are space enthusiasts. Sun, Earth, Universe provides great opportunities to experience the world of aerospace and beyond, allows for moments of hands-on exploration and shared discovery among family members and will, perhaps, inspire interest in Earth and space sciences.”

“Stepping Stones is excited to host this exhibit because it aligns perfectly with our commitment to broaden and enrich the educational opportunities of children and to enhance their understanding of the world, and in the case, beyond,” Morrissey said.

The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition was created through a project led by Arizona State University, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition was developed by a team led by the Science Museum of Minnesota, and fifty-two copies will be fabricated and distributed nationwide by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network). Exhibitions will be delivered between fall 2018 and summer 2019 and then will be on display at museums across the country over the next several years.

The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition is free with paid admission to Stepping Stones. For more information, visit http://www.steppingstonesmusuem.org/seu.

Acknowledgement

The Sun, Earth, Universe exhibition was developed in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Sun, Earth, Universe exhibitions are developed and distributed nationwide by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network).

This material is based upon work supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AC67A and 80NSSC18M0061. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

About Stepping Stones Museum for Children

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is an award-winning, private, non-profit 501 (c)(3) children’s museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children and families. For more information about Stepping Stones, to book a field trip or schedule a class, workshop or facility rental call 203-899-0606 or visit http://www.steppingstonesmuseum.org.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children is located at 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT, exit 14 North and 15 South off I-95. Museum hours are: Labor Day through Memorial Day, Tuesday-Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; and Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Admission is $15 for adults and children and $10 for seniors. Children under 1 are free. Get social with Stepping Stones on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About the NISE Network

The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) is a national community of informal educators and scientists dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of current science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
http://nisenet.org/about

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