A planetarium is cool. Kids and adults alike are exposed to the vastness and intricacy of the Universe. A planetarium and the educational programs that go along with it can be a pillar of science education in a community. All the cool metropolitan areas have one. But we don’t have one in the Twin Cities.
But we are working on it. There has long been a plan to build a new 120 seat planetarium (long ago we did have one in Minneapolis) at the site of the new Bell Museum, to be located adjacent to the Saint Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota. (Click here for more information: PDF and HERE for an FAQ on the Bell Museum and Planetarium project) For years this project has been thwarted by anti-science elements in the Republican Party who have variously been ensconced either in the governor’s office or in one or one or both of the legislative bodies. At the moment, and we don’t know how long this will last, we have a pro-science governor AND the DFL (that’s what we call Democrats in Minnesota) is in the majority in the House and Senate. Now is the time to move on this, to support a bonding bill that will include the planetarium as well as other facilities for the Bell Museum.
If you would like to help support this project, especially if you live in Minnesota, you can drop an email or note with your house and senate reps. You could say something like, “I support the Bonding Bill to construct a new Planetarium at the Bell Museum of Natural History. Please vote in favor of this project.” Click HERE to find out who your reps are (you have two, one House and one Senate). Express your support to the Governor HERE.
We are, verily, a mere speck in the vastness of the universe. But surely there is room on this speck of ours for more science education, and we need this planetarium in support of that important effort.
Oh, and as far as I know, the Planetarium will be covering real science, despite this.