Friends of the Crosby Library presents NASA’s Infinity Project

Published 4:44 pm Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sunday, Dec. 3rd from 2-4 p.m. in the Cultural Room of the Crosby Library in Picayune, The Friends of the Crosby Library will present a program on NASA’s “Infinity” Project. John Wilson, Education Program Development Director for the “Infinity” Project, will speak on the exciting $35 million dollar, 60,000 sq. ft., interactive science and education center to be located on 200 acres next to the Mississippi Welcome Center at Exit 2 on Interstate 10 in Hancock County.

Infinity’s goal is to engage and educate the public in the benefits of scientific exploration and to inspire and motivate students and teachers, especially in areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. By attaining this goal, “Infinity” will help enhance America’s ability to maintain World leadership in science and technology.

The “Infinity” complex is designed to appeal to individuals of all ages, especially educators and students interested in the planet upon which we live. “Infinity” has been designed by a world famous New York design team (ESI Design) to engage people of all ages in a fun filled experience in learning about our planet and the incredible science and engineering being done at the John C. Stennis Space Center that is helping us understand Space Ship Earth. Infinity’s main exhibit galleries are themed environments on Earth and Space with dynamic presentations exploring from the bottom of the ocean to deep space, hands-on activities, and simulated missions that can expand the visit to many enjoyable hours. For those visitors with less time there is the Science Express area with its sampler of fun, quick, hands-on science activities. Rounding out “Infinity” will be a Welcome area, information desk, gift shop, café, and restrooms.

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The design and construction of “Infinity” is involving a wide spectrum of individuals and organizations. It has drawn upon the expertise of numerous scientists and engineers within NASA, Navy, NOAA, EPA, USGS, and the universities and contractors at Stennis Space Center. Funding for “Infinity” is coming from a public-private partnership comprised of NASA (Federal), the State of Mississippi (State), and MAST (private). MAST, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization formed specifically to develop and promote “Infinity”. The design of “Infinity” has been completed and the 200 acres purchased. Funding has been allocated at the Federal and State level and intense efforts are presently underway to identify the remaining private sector funding. With that fund drive successfully completed, it is planned that construction will be completed in late 2009 with a grand opening shortly thereafter.

Being located next to the I-10 Mississippi Welcome Center at the Mississippi-Louisiana State line will provide the occupants of the nearly 12 million vehicles that pass by each year with the opportunity to greatly increase the enjoyment of their rest stop. “Infinity” will also provide a daily opportunity for the tens of thousands of local area students and teachers to pursue school projects and focused learning activities.

Sunday, Dec. 3 2006, from 2-4 p.m. in the Cultural Room of the Crosby Library in Picayune, the public will have an opportunity to hear and see details about “Infinity” from John Wilson, the project’s Program Development Director. Mr. Wilson is an educator with more than twenty-five years of experience in a wide range of educational activities. At Stennis Space Center he has provided expert support to NASA in the development of education programs that support and promote the NASA mission and help the education community reach national education goals. He has also served as lead facilitator for strategic planning and consensus engagement using NASA’s Collaboration Laboratory at Stennis Space Center. John lives with his wife, Angela, and five children in Gulfport. Please come learn about “Infinity”, ask questions, and enjoy refreshments — all for free — this coming Sunday.