Collaborative project takes off in Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Fla. — March 17, 2022 — The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) announced the launch of its Space Mailbox competition, in collaboration with Blue Origin’s foundation Club for the Future, STEM2 Hub and Duval County Public Schools (DCPS). The initiative launched in February as part of Club for the Future’s Postcards to Space program, with a contest for DCPS students who were tasked with designing a prototype of their very own post box. The winning designs will be professionally constructed and installed in the Museum and at the Duval County STEM Innovations Center to collect guests’ postcards.
Sixteen teams from 10 schools across the county competed in the post box design challenge that awarded two winners, one from a primary school (K-5), and one from a secondary school (6-12). The winners were chosen on February 16 and announced in a ceremony at the Museum. They are:
“We are very proud of all of the participants from across Duval County — they made the process of choosing a winner very difficult. At MOSH, we inspire the joy of lifelong learning; through this experience, we know these students will have a lifelong connection to the mystery and excitement of space,” said Bruce Fafard, CEO of the Museum of Science & History. “A special congratulations goes out to our winners at Chaffee Trail Elementary School and James Weldon Johnson College Preparatory Middle School. We cannot wait to see these designs come to life and be a part of our Museum for years to come.”
Once installed, MOSH visitors will be encouraged to create their own postcard to someone in their life or a special note to themselves that will then fly to space on Blue Origin’s New Shephard rocket. After flight, each postcard will be stamped “Flown to Space,” and returned to the sender as a special keepsake. The program is free to participate and open to everyone.
“Encouraging our students to stay curious and put their education to work in practical, interesting and new ways is always exciting,” said Dr. Yvonne Spinner, Director of Science (K-12), Duval County Public Schools. “We are grateful for opportunities to collaborate on projects like these with other wonderful organizations within our community, like Club for the Future, STEM2 Hub and MOSH, and look forward to more like it.”
Blue Origin founded Club for the Future in 2019 with the mission to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space for the benefit of Earth. The Club collaborates with leading education organizations to offer professional development and space-based curriculum at no cost to schools and student-centered community programs. In Northeast Florida, those partners include STEM2 Hub, whose mission is to convene, inspire and invest in the STEM fields — a goal shared by MOSH and DCPS.
“Our hope is to make space accessible to everyone, and this immersive design activity is a great representation of how we are working to accomplish that,” said Josef Reinke, Director, Club for the Future. “We are proud of all the contestants who participated and look forward to seeing the winning projects turn into tangible representations of their curiosity. Thank you to Dr. Carafano for championing this program and MOSH for hosting the winning designs and helping us share our mission.”
For more details on the program, winners and how and where you can drop off your own postcard, visit themosh.org.
About The Museum of Science & History (MOSH)
The Museum of Science & History (MOSH) is located at 1025 Museum Circle near Friendship Park. MOSH, first chartered in 1941, inspires the joy of lifelong learning by bringing to life the sciences and regional history. Admission is $15.95 for adults; $12.95 for youth, students, active and retired military and seniors. There is no admission fee for children 2 and under or Museum members. Learn more at themosh.org.
Museum funding is provided in part by the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Inc.; State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and the National Endowment for the Arts; Historic Museums Grants-in-Aid Program assistance provided by the Bureau of Historical Museums, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, Secretary of State.
About Duval County Public Schools (DCPS)
Duval County Public Schools is the 20th largest school district in the nation, educating approximately 130,000 students in nearly 200 schools. Its mission is to provide education for every student, every day. Visit www.duvalschools.org to learn more.
About the STEM2 Hub
The Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub mission is to convene, inspire, and invest in the STEM fields by providing the essential missing elements to accelerate the growth of STEM education and career opportunities in the 7 Northeast Florida counties of Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns. To learn more, visit stem2hub.org
About Blue Origin and Club for the Future
Founded by Blue Origin in 2019, Club for the Future is a foundation whose mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space. The Club and its collaborators are doing this through Postcards to Space, space-focused curriculum, and access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets.