Today was a sad day for the Texas Museum of Science and Technology as the temporary location in Cedar Park closed its doors. It would have been a great day had that been due to moving into a permanent facility, but given the absurdly high cost of the lease on the old indoor soccer building (that just had a dirt floor until six months or so ago) it was costing about $50k a month in donations just to keep the doors open. Due to that and some lingering financial consequences of some of the initial exhibits like the incredibly expensive Body Worlds that they opened with, in January the museum Board of Directors chose not to renew their lease and instead focus their efforts and any incoming donations on their permanent location.
On Friday night we had our final star party to suitably gloomy weather, kicked off by a dinner and live music in the parking lot. I’ve posted some pictures of the event including a last run through the museum to capture some artwork on the James Webb Space Telescope, and a rare picture of Mercury above Venus just over the corner of the museum building.
As far as the future of TXMOST, the goal is to continue looking for large corporate donors to support the building of a permanent location, and in the meantime possibly reopen on a smaller scale if a suitable location can be found. There have been ongoing negotiations with the City of Cedar Park to provide the land for the permanent location, but without a suitable backing to build the building, the City has not been willing to officially commit the land. So, if you’re here and reading this, certainly I’m sure TXMOST will appreciate anything you wish to donate, but you can also talk to your company HR and management to determine if your company has any sort of charitable outreach program that could get involved. Many of us work for high tech companies who are reliant on finding employees with science, technology, engineering, and math backgrounds. Certainly they should find value in helping to spark the interest in STEM in our next generations at an early age. The future will thank you for it!
As far as the Friday night star parties, I am working on lining up a new location to be able to keep doing the star parties and keep up the awareness of TXMOST. Watch here for more information on that.