The Turtle Bay Exploration Park and the SETI Institute in Mountain View are working with the Shasta County Board of Education to bring a new science center and planetarium to Turtle Bay. The Turtle Bat development director, Bev Stupek says they are excited to explore the option of bringing science education to the community.
While the concept is still in the discussion phase, the director of special projects for SETI, Karen Randall says she is seeking approval to move the collaboration to the next stage from the SETI board of directors. Since all three of the agencies have similar missions, it makes sense that the three would work well together in bringing a science center and planetarium to the area.
The SETI Institute and the University of California at Berkeley use a radio telescope to scan the universe in search of intelligent life on other planets and in space. Since the mission of SETI focuses on science education, this jives with the missions of the Shasta County Board of Education and Turtle Bay.
Currently, Turtle Bay attracts approximately 15,000 children per year and the Turtle Bay President and CEO, Mike Warren, agrees that it makes sense to add a science center and planetarium to the park’s current offering.
The collaboration would require the construction of a new building to house the planetarium, science exhibits and interpretive material. At the present time, talks have the building going up adjacent to the park at Turtle Bay. Funding, as is usually the case, is not available among the agencies involved, so they would probably have to apply for grants. Warren shares, “You come up with a plan first. Then you tell the granting agencies what the plan is. Hopefully, they’ll be enticed.”
Talks continue to take place among the three agencies. It remains to be seen if it will be all talk and no action.