The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
your entire community—children, adults, families, and teachers—on a Voyage
that will forever change your perspective of home.
Install in your community a replica of the Voyage Scale Model Solar System located on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in front of the Smithsonian Museums, and between the U.S. Capitol Building and Washington Monument. A precedent-setting exhibition created in partnership with the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, the Smithsonian Institution, and NASA, Voyage was designed for replication and permanent installation in communities worldwide. It is also designed as a focal point for community-wide science education.
On a visit to the National Mall in Washington, DC, one can see monuments of a nation—Memorials to Lincoln, Jefferson, and WWII, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and the Washington Monument. Standing among them is Voyage—a one to 10-billion scale model of our Solar System—spanning 2,000 feet from the National Air and Space Museum to the Smithsonian Castle. The Sun and its system of planets—our Solar System—is portrayed at one 10-billionth actual size, and contained on 13 stanchions.
A seamless fusion of sculpture and science education, the Voyage exhibition was approved by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and U.S. National Capital Planning Commission for permanent placement on the National Mall. The Commissioners felt that the story embraced by the exhibition was worthy of placement on the Mall not only for visitors from across America, but also because of the international visitorship. The Smithsonian Museums are the most attended in the world.
The Voyage Experience:
Voyage provides visitors a powerful understanding of what we know about Earth’s place in space and celebrates our ability to know it. It reveals the true nature of humanity’s existence—six billion souls occupying a tiny, fragile, beautiful world in a vast space. It is a humbling experience for it reminds us of the majesty of the greater universe. It is inspiring for it reveals the frontiers of exploration that await the next generation. It motivates us to look skyward on a clear night. And it drives home that we the human race all share this world—a spaceship with all known life aboard that we are charged with protecting for future generations.
Voyage also teaches us that beauty has nothing to do with size, for on this tiny world lives a race of explorers whose members are compelled to ask questions of the universe, can comprehend their existence within it, and are born to revel in the act of learning.
Voyage is an exhibition that speaks to all humanity. The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education is therefore making replicas of Voyage available for permanent installation in communities worldwide. The Center’s Director, Dr. Jeff Goldstein, oversees the Voyage National Program.
Imagine a Voyage in Your Community:
Voyage can be placed outside your museum, in your park, along a downtown street, or on a university campus. The site you choose depends on the community’s objectives for the visitor experience—a sculptural thread linking multiple historic and destination sites (Washington, DC), a pathway to the gate of a museum or science center (Houston, Texas), a new downtown educational experience (Kansas City, MO), or turning a university campus into a science education destination site for its surrounding community (U. of Central Florida in Orlando.)
Extensive programming and lessons for grade K-12 students, teachers, families, and the public, are designed to allow the Voyage exhibition to serve as a focal point for sustainable science education programs across your community.
Voyage’s ability to engage an entire community provides a vibrant framework for sustained partnerships at the local level, engaging school districts, science centers/museums, colleges/universities, civic and business organizations, and local government. Education and learning are woven into the fabric of a community, with parent and child, student and teacher, exploring the majesty of the Universe together.
The visitor experience for the Voyage exhibition, and all related educational materials and programs, use the remarkable power of models to develop a deep conceptual understanding of our world and the greater Universe.
More than an Exhibition:
The Voyage exhibition was designed as a centerpiece for sustainable community-wide science education, with programming and content tailored to a community’s needs. All programming and educational materials for the Voyage exhibition are provided through the Center’s Journey through the Universe program, which embraces a Learning Community Model for program delivery. Available assets include: Grade K-12 lessons grown from the National Science Education Standards and directly relevant to the earth and space science strand of your science curriculum; a tour brochure customized to your community; training for grade K-12 teachers of science across entire school districts; national teams of planetary scientists and engineers visiting thousands of your students one classroom at a time; and events designed for family learning and the public. The Center’s programs also reflect a deep commitment to assessment.
Training for your community’s educators on lessons to be used before and after exploring the Voyage exhibition is a recipe for a multi-week unit on Solar System science in the classroom.
The grade K-12 lessons, one workshop for teachers, and an opening event for families and the public are provided with the exhibition. The customized tour brochure is available seperately. Ongoing community-wide programming is available separately through Journey through the Universe.
You Can Count On Us to Help:
At the community level, the challenge is not embracing such big vision, but implementing it. We are here to help. The Center will work closely with your community to build the needed coalition of local stakeholders, identify the needed funding sources in both the public and private sectors, explore approaches to local programming (e,g., for siting at a museum or college campus) and assist in writing the needed proposals. For a program of this magnitude, collaboration is the hallmark for success, which is also the path to our global vision—a network of 100 Voyage Communities worldwide.
Be part of the Voyage National Program—become a Voyage Community. Put Voyage to work to inspire our next generation of scientists and engineers, and at a time when America must decide if it is going to compete in the high technology marketplace of the 21st century, and when solutions to the world’s unprecedented challenges require science and technology as never before.
Some Current and Prospective Voyage Communities:
- Kansas City, MO: Voyage opened on October 10, 2008, located along Baltimore Avenue, from the Power & Light Building to historic Union Station. It is provided as a gift to Kansas City by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which also commissioned two new stanchions for the dwarf planet Eris and one dedicated to the Explorers among us.
- Houston, TX: Voyage opened November 14, 2008 at Space Center Houston, the official visitors center of NASA's Johnson Space Center. Voyage is funded by a gift from Houston Endowment Inc.
- Corpus Christi, TX: Voyage was approved by the City for installation along the waterfront. Voyage is funded by Museums for America and Walmart; opening June 2009. Community-wide programming is overseen by the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History.
- Des Moines, Iowa: the State Capitol Planning Commission approved placement on the State Capitol grounds on September 17, 2008. At the request of the Governor, Voyage will serve as a visible symbol of the State’s commitment to science education, and be the focal point for a state-wide program Voyage Across Iowa; projected opening summer 2009.
- Orlando, FL: approved for placement on the Campus of the University of Central Florida; fundraising in progress. Voyage will be used as a focal point for outreach to the community, with the UCF campus serving as a destination site for grade K-12 classes. It will also serve the 3,200 non-science majors a year that take introductory astronomy courses.
- Baltimore, MD: the Mayor's Inner Harbor Task Force approved installation in Inner Harbor on August 26, 2008; fundraising in progress. Community-wide programming will be overseen by the Maryland Science Center.
Explore the current network of communities in the Voyage National Program.
Using this Web Site:
The navigation column on the left at the top of this page accesses pages that address details of the Voyage National Program, including: the resources provided to a Voyage Community; exhibition design; and the approach to community-wide education.
The Voyage in DC link in the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page provides the stories behind the program—the vision, the message, the history, the depth of commitment to science education, and an overview of the team.
For a far more comprehensive look at the programming and lessons available to a Voyage Community, visit the Journey through the Universe web site.