Status Reports

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Enters into Space Act Agreement for New Education Center
05.21.09
 
Rob Strain (left) and Kam Ghaffarian Goddard Center Director Rob Strain (left) and SEEC President Kam Ghaffarian sign the Space Act Agreement. Credit: NASA/Bill Hrybyk
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Officials present for SEEC agreement signing Also present for the agreement were (left to right) Laurie Leshin, Kris Brown, Natalie Simms, Lourdes Wisniewski, Shelley Johnson, Debbie Hollebeke and David Schuman. Strain and Ghaffarian are seated at the front. Credit: NASA/Bill Hrybyk
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Goddard Center Director Rob Strain and Kam Ghaffarian, president of the newly formed non-profit organization Maryland Science, Exploration and Education Center (SEEC) at Goddard, signed a NASA Space Act Agreement on May 21 to enter into the formal planning stages for the new facility at Goddard.

The purpose of the agreement is to assess the long-term feasibility of SEEC and to develop conceptual designs and long range plans for SEEC.

The objectives of the SEEC include inspiring, engaging and educating the next generation of scientists, engineers and technologists; providing compelling experiences to all to increase understanding of our home planet and our place in the Universe; and to create a destination of choice that effectively showcases NASA and Goddard’s current work.

The vision for the Science, Education and Exploration Center is to be a state-of-the-art venue attracting 500,000 students, educators and visitors per year. The SEEC will be located near or on the Goddard campus to connect SEEC’s visitors to Goddard’s world-class people, facilities and capabilities.

SEEC will also be a non-traditional education center, providing dynamic programs, hands-on exhibits and interactive experiences to allow all to participate in Goddard’s unique work. Students and visitors will experience the process of designing, building, testing and launching spaceflight missions. Visitors will also access and use real-time data from more than 40 current operational missions. Once in place, SEEC is planned to be a self-sustaining, non-profit operation.

Ghaffarian called the SEEC “a place to inspire the next engineer or scientist or even astronaut.” He added, “We have a long way to go, but this is a good second step.”
 
 
John Putman
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center