Science Center of Iowa Celebrates Apollo 50 with Events for Adults and Children

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Science Center of Iowa is celebrating 50 years of the first humans landing on the moon by educating children through activities.

On July 20th, 1969 Apollo 11 made its landing on the moon with Neil Armstrong taking the first steps on the moon's surface, followed by Buzz Aldrin.

Director of Marketing for the Science Center of Iowa Emiliee Richardson said, “This is incredible because it is so multi-generational. I think that is one of the really special things about this anniversary. The grandparents or the parents can help relate it to the younger kids and talk about their memories. We also have all sorts of activities where we are helping people understand that.”

All-day on Saturday people can celebrate at the Science Center by participating in a “Mission Checklist Challenge.”

People can visit stations throughout the center and participate in activities such as training like an astronaut, Apollo trivia, space career game, space memory/dream wall, planetarium shows, solar system ambassador presentations, and watching NASA archival video.

From 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. people can watch the film “Live From the Moon” in the John Deere Adventure Theater. It follows how Iowa’s own Collins Radio Company played a key role in communications and the navigation system that was used during Apollo 11. Tickets are $5 a person.

Richardson said while it is great to celebrate past accomplishments, this is also a good time to educate people on what society can see in the possible future.

“Whether that is to the moon again, or to Mars or to somewhere else. I think that is the really cool thing about this anniversary where we can have that historical connection, but it also gets people thinking and dreaming about the future,” Richardson said.

From 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. people can participate in the Science Center’s Star Party and look through telescopes on the lawn outside. Richardson said right now people can get a clear view of Jupiter and its moons.

Adults can get in on the celebrations by tasting a brand-new space beer at Mixology Night on July 19th.

Richardson said the beer is brewed locally by Twisted Vine Brewery. It is named after Iowan Astronomer James Van Allen and is called the “Van Allen Belt” IPA.

“They actually took some of the hops that they put into the beer and sent them up in a high altitude balloon. They can officially call it a space hop,” Richardson said.

To see a full list of events, click here.

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