The Thomas Wathen Foundation, the Planetary Society and the Traveling Space Museum have formed a coalition to explore common goals, develop funding initiatives and to develop and expand on educational programs for young people.
Meeting at historic Flabob Airport, the three groups spent a day making plans to bring aviation and space history and technology to grade schools, middle schools, high schools and universities. The Wathen Foundation hosts an aviation-oriented charter school, Air Academies, an in-school program for 5th and 6th grade students that provides an introduction to aviation activities, hands-on aircraft restoration projects for high school students, and a very active EAA Young Eagles program. The Traveling Space Museum has been touring the United States for over a decade, bringing inter-active space exhibits to students across the United States. The Planetary Society, which promotes space exploration, plans to launch a wide range of activities designed to inspire students from age 6 to 22.
“We have a much better chance of achieving our goals by working cooperatively with like-minded organizations than we do by working alone,” said John Lyon, president of the Wathen Foundation.
“Each group has resources that can enrich the other,” said Bill Nye, Executive Director of the Planetary Society. “Working collectively, we can leverage our reach and inspire young people with curiosity and the drive to learn more.”
Speaking on behalf of the Traveling Space Museum, Ivor Dawson, Founder and President, said: “We have great programs in place and under development. With some seed money we can look forward to refinements in the way we approach the technology of educating and perpetuate the science of rocketry and aviation.”