Northrop Grumman funds space education center

Northrop Grumman Corp. is donating $375,000 to create a science center and teaching lab at the Space Foundation’s Colorado Springs headquarters.

The Northrop Grumman Science Center will include a Science on a Sphere laboratory and a teaching facility that will be used for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs for teachers and students, as well as for community education outreach efforts.

The Northrop Grumman Science Center is the first major component of the Space Foundation’s visitors’ center, which is under development at 4425 Arrowswest Drive. Construction will start immediately and the new center is expected to this fall.

“This generous gift from Northrop Grumman makes it possible for the Space Foundation to realize our vision of an interactive destination for formal and informal public and private education – advancing STEM in the exciting context of space exploration, development and utilization,” said Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham. “We envision a facility where children and adults can participate in highly interactive learning opportunities in multiple disciplines, including astronomy, physics, mathematics, geography, environmental sciences, planetary sciences and biology.”

The center will have both lecture and laboratory facilities that can be used for pre-kindergarten through graduate-level courses, educator professional development and educational multimedia events and presentations for the general public.

“Northrop Grumman is honored to partner with the Space Foundation to create this exciting new educational facility for the Rocky Mountain region that will help lead the next generation into space,” said Gary Ervin, a corporate vice president of Northrop Grumman and president of the company’s Aerospace Systems sector. “STEM education initiatives like this are critical for today’s children to become tomorrow’s leaders in space. They are the future stewards of our nation’s leadership in technology to keep both our economy strong and our residents secure while advancing our understanding of the world around us.”

The center will extend the reach and capabilities of the Space Foundation’s education enterprise, which offers space-themed, standards-based education programs to teachers and students. Programs include Space Across the Curriculum teacher professional development courses, STARS science enrichment programs for schools, New Horizons community programs that combine school-based education programs with community events and lectures, Audience with an Astronaut sessions for schools, school and youth tours of major space industry exhibits, including those at the National Space Symposium, lesson plans and teaching resources and a NASA Educator Resource Center.