Historical Space Exhibition to Blast off at Southeast


SPACE: Dare to Dream Opens Oct. 13

Photo of Memorial Hall

SPACE: Dare to Dream will open Oct. 13 at Southeast in Memorial Hall.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Media interested in touring the SPACE: Dare to Dream exhibit are invited to check it out at noon on Oct. 13 in Memorial Hall at Southeast Missouri State. This special opportunity, one hour prior to the public opening, will allow media the opportunity to visit with staff from Southeast’s NASA Educator Resource Center, conduct interviews and ask questions about the SPACE: Dare to Dream exhibit.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 28, 2007 — In 1962, President John F. Kennedy inspired this country to explore and expand on a quest that has enthralled people from the dawn of time — to reach out to the stars. Now a nationally acclaimed exhibition on the history of space exploration is nearing lift-off at Southeast Missouri State University. 

SPACE: Dare to Dream will open at 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at Southeast. The exhibit provides a multi-media, hands-on exploration of mankind’s quest to fly and reach the heavens, from ancient times through the Apollo program. Building on the accomplishments and setbacks of past visionaries, Dare to Dream seeks to ignite the desire for discovery, spark the imagination, and inspire new generations of explorers to meet future challenges.

Opening in Memorial Hall on the main campus of Southeast Missouri State University, the Dare to Dream exhibit will run through

Jan. 12. Dare to Dream will be open seven days a week in Memorial Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays.  The exhibit will be closed Nov. 21-22 and Dec. 24 – Jan. 1. 

Dr. Ernest Kern, director of the Missouri NASA Education Program, says Cape Girardeau is fortunate to have landed the exhibit. 

“Most of the time, Dare to Dream is booked into the large venues such as Chicago or the Pacific Science Center in Seattle or the Cincinnati Museum Center just to name a few.  We were lucky to catch it at just the right time,” Kern said.  “And Southeast’s strength in science education was another contributing factor.”

Now in the fifth year of its national tour, SPACE: Dare to Dream presents displays in scenic environments that not only reflect man’s past ideas about the cosmos, but also fuel the imagination and foster new dreams for the future of space exploration.  This dynamic educational experience consists of elements such as Forest of Dreams, a multimedia presentation where the night sky inspires the desire for new explorations. Galileo’s Studio allows visitors to speak with a costumed Galileo, learn about his discoveries, and look through his telescope.  The mammoth Saturn V display allows young and mature alike to experience the rumble and pulsing of a pre-launch rocket simulating a view from hundreds of feet above the ground. Ancient Cosmology invites people to step back in time to see how early civilizations viewed our place in the universe.  The multi-media Space Exploration and Mission to the Moon timelines educate through stunning graphics and enticing video. Visitors will have the opportunity to see how they look in a spacesuit and how much they would weigh on different planets in the solar system. They also can challenge themselves at the Discovery Kiosk.

“These are just a few of the experiences awaiting visitors,” Kern said.  “Others include an actual moon rock collected on the Apollo 16 mission, an interactive display simulating weightlessness, the NASA Theater, and many more.”

Dare to Dream is free and open to both the general public and education groups. 

“The exhibit is a wonderful opportunity for families and students alike.  It is definitely something that shouldn’t be missed,” said Dr. Stanley Grand, director of the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Southeast Missouri Regional Museum.  The public is free to tour Dare to Dream at any time during operating hours.  Due to space limitations at Memorial Hall, school group visits are by reservation only.  Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis and can be made by calling (573) 651-2516. 

“All teachers scheduling groups are also supplied with a free packet containing numerous hands-on student activities related to the Dare to Dream exhibit and space exploration,” Grand said.  “These excellent resources are applicable as either pre-visit or post-visit experiences.”

Produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in collaboration with NASA, and funded by General Motors and Lockheed Martin, Dare to Dream has thrilled audiences nationwide.  An array of additional displays from NASA’s Glenn Research Center, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA’s Langley Research Center will supplement the exhibit at Southeast.  Dare to Dream is made possible locally by the Office of the President at Southeast Missouri State University, the Missouri NASA Education Program, the Crisp Museum, and the College of Science and Mathematics.

“We wanted to do something very special, very meaningful, and highly educational for the students and adults in this region.  That is, after all, part of the mission and commitment of this University. I am very pleased Southeast is making this unique opportunity possible,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University.”

For more information or to schedule a school group visit, call (573) 651-2516 or e-mail to adhuffman@semo.edu.