ISSUES 2018 06/24/18

Steve McIntosh
Wednesday, June 20th

Jim Remar, President and CEO of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson discusses the Museum's exhibits and educational programs


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

S.'s issues 2018. I Steve Macintosh and gas is Jimmer in our president and CEO of the Kansas constant fear and space center in Hutchinson. Welcome to AG's 2018 thanks Steve I'm happy to be here just thinking that you and I did an interview it's been a bit of why it's been a bit yeah I was there was actually in the old buildings two so it's been like a couple of years at least. Recently the constant fear received a big grant from NASA yes we did were turns out task is absolutely. So we. Whether Tzipi and so of of the NASA team to grant. Which ordered us 650000. Dollars. There were 43. Applicants and only three were given awards so we're very excited and honored to have been chosen in this project. Is a great one for us it's going to allow our team to. Create curriculum as well as traveling exhibit senator around mission control. I'm so a lot of people think about the cause fear and astronauts but we're going to introduce a mission control. What is so it's his mission control is what where the engineers control it via the operational flight operations. Any thing that goes up mission control in Houston. Has operations. Control over that. In Seoul are educators are going to develop a curriculum and that puts students. In a simulated mission and we have control actual mission control consoles from the back room of mission control. Where engineer sat during the Apollo program. And so we're gonna build an exhibit around it console introduce. This curriculum in the exhibit's. Two schools to museums all over the country in the grant will fund the development of twelve of them. Will then I'll send those out to Kansas schools. Challenger learning centers and then Smithsonian affiliates across the country. He sees is to create twelve of the graduate trackers that they will so we will create an exhibit lets you know roughly. Tempo like ten foot by eight foot high. Our space works division will create the exhibit the that the graphics. As well as. Interactive with the console. And then each one of these will be cratered up our team will then ship amounts and then arrive to install on site. The spend anywhere from from four weeks to a couple of months. After school or at the museum. And then the educators there will take their participants through it and our team will come back pack it up in. And ship it on to the next day institutions so these councils will they handle electrons can you get switches in and talk back and forth what you do absolutely so the consoles themselves from our. In terms of modern technology a little antiquated. It's it's interesting that the flight controllers when they were getting man to the moon at about. 65 K of memory and their computers which you know our phones have significantly more computing power powerful volley is so what we're going to do is is were going to do a little history meets modern. So will will put some modern. Computer monitors LED monitors where the old CRT moat kept her rate to goes. And then we'll have a computers in their. And then we'll have touch screens and things so the the kids can interact with. The console utilizing modern technology it's my understanding this is space program itself. Was instrumental in getting computers right there absolutely without a doubt we we've we're doing. Restoration project right now for mission control down at Johnson Space Center. And they took us back into a room. Where the old mainframes used to be in in unit you're talking a room. That's probably 3000 square feet size where these huge racks. Would be ended early on IBM and in the groups and MIT work were instrumental in developing the the computers for. The gym and on Apollo program and in a lot of those developments led to the computing power that we have today. Yeah have you received Nancy grants in the pants we have but it's it's been a number of years. It's it's probably been at least ten plus years if not longer since we've received a NASA grant. We have applied over the last five years six years but. Have not been awarded and so Mitt I think this just. Which signifies our relationship with NASA shows. The the I'm recognition. Of the cosmos fear. And allows us two to really get part of our. A collection as wells or education programs out for more people to appreciate now how long have you been with the company to one of my second tour of duty I was there. Originally from 2000 to 2008. Left. For four years and then came back in 2012. As president and chief operating officer. And then I was named CEO. This past January. Tell us about the history of the Kosmas fear when was it Middleton and where did the idea come from where the cuts in the spirit has a great history. We. Word started in 1962. And really has a dream of of Medicare. Parity Cary. Was a local civic leader philanthropist. She was really a do or common she had a love of astronomy love of the stars. And patty wanted to do something to share that love with community. She was also someone that you could not till now so she went to a friend's. And twists and few elbows and in raised enough to. Purchase I use star projector and a small dome. Which she set up in the poultry building on the state programs. Another reason why the culture building it was the only building that had a roof tall enough to accommodate the don't so patty set that up. I in 1962. And the Hutchinson planetary and took off. People enjoyed it's so much so that in 1966. Billy Hutchinson community college invited patty. To come on to their campus and so they built a planetarium that paddy moved into and from 6262. On 1980 of that planetarium operated. But patty and in her board wanted to do something more than just monetary and they wanted to be able to. Develop a science education senator wanted to preserve the history of space exploration. And so in 1980. We opened the Kansas cosmos fearing discovery center. Underwent various on expansions. Our most recent expansion was opened in 1997. It's arguably that was point one years ago. But today were the most complete comprehensive. Space museum in the world dedicated to telling the story of the space race. The only museum in the world that tells from both points of the United States as wells the former Soviet Union. More a world class museum and a 105000. Square feet that'll not only has the museum but it. Wonderful leading edge a hands on education programs so tremendous honor today. How is it because as you're finding that we are mostly self generated come out of our operation more pro 75%. Self. Funded and and 20%. And other funds. It's twenty to 25%. We generate our revenues through a ticket sales so purchase to the dome theater museum tickets. Doctor guards lab planetarium. I would whatsoever retail components are education. A programming accounts for about 25% of our funding. You know we have division called space works that does restoration. Artifact replication. And conservation work for literally groups all over the world and and that's a primary component. And then we receive about 18% from a local sales tax there and in the community of community of Hutchinson. It's support of the cosmos for your year in and year out. And then the rest is through memberships in in other fund raising initiatives how many visitors do you entertain. We get about a 105000. Visitors annually. And then we see. Thousands of other visitors whether it's through. Our outreach programs of facts about three weeks ago we spent the weekend and Dodge City thousand participants came through our our venue there. And then we get tens of thousands that see our traveling exhibits we support to international traveling exhibits. That seat tens of thousands of visitors on an annual basis. So our reach extends well beyond 200000 on an annual level you have you talk about educational opportunities and I've been aware of these in the past but he talked about that a little bit yeah just absolutely loses so space camp it bit it is we have oh really robust. Offering of of education programs and in the user. In their hands on applied type of programming. In by that you learn. A formula lower series in class and a textbook but you may not really understand how that applies so we put our our participants. In a setting where they begin to hope that understand how that theory applies in a practical real world sense and so. We have field trip programs. That are based on on. Curriculum utilizing the museum as a backdrop that we offer throughout the year for school kids. But that our flagship farther this summer camp programs the camps that. Basically go through twelve week period over the summer. And they start out is as young as second grade. And then banner up into what are. Call our our space camp harmonies are. Levels 101 all the way up through what we call extreme and in 101. The kids fly simulated shuttle mission with a mission control. Minute it is all about leadership and critical thinking in team building. Into a one they expand upon that but we introduce a scuba activity. That astronauts train for they're they're space walks in and neutrally buoyant a swimming pool and so we do us Cuba activity to simulate that. Three don't want our kids go down to Houston and Johnson Space Center and actually interact with the engineers down there to get a behind the scenes tour. For a long we go to Kennedy and do the same thing down in Florida. 501 they go out to California and visit Jet Propulsion. Laboratory in Edwards Air Force Base. And then our extreme is is a really fun camp this year were doing. Western extreme. And we're taking the kids out to Denver Colorado Springs and in showing them the Lockheed Martin's. And Boeing's and were taken them down to and New Mexico to show them white sands. The little old launch complexes where Werner Von Braun and his team's setup. And so these camps represented a great opportunity for kids. That's really find a passion and and it's not necessarily if you want to. Go to a four year university here or if you wanna go into the trades we just want you to find your passion. And hopefully ignited that spark. You're listening to issues 2018 on the Entercom radio stations and our guest is Jim remark. President and CEO of the Kansas 'cause atmosphere and space center in Hutchinson. What's the most popular exhibit. Oh it's got to be Apollo thirteen. Apollo thirteen is such a tremendous artifacts for us. The history behind it commission. On the fact that. The mission controllers and in Houston had to figure out a way to route to return the astronauts. Safely to earth. The movie obviously. Helped that so almost. All visitors who come to the cousins you're definitely wanna see the Apollo thirteen what is it. These are all of her Xena is is their camps it's the capsule right so we we have the actual command module Odyssey. The capsule that the astronauts were in. The capsule that was a top the service module when the explosion happened. And that's the capsule that they had to figure out how to return to reenter the atmosphere in and get the astronauts back to earth. So that that is a charm tremendous piece and end and one of the things that really makes it special to us. Is we did the restoration. Win when the capsule got back NASA stripped the interior of the command module. And then shipped it off to. France that was in this science museum in Paris for many years. Uh oh the Smithsonian NASA and the State Department got a back to the list. This is in the mid ninety's sent it to us where we. Reintegrated. Over 80% of the original hardware back into the capsule. And then put it on display and then right next to the capsule we've got Jim bubbles flown space suit. From that mission so it really makes a special exhibit tells about a couple of your permanent exhibits. And absolutely so. Are probably are our two key exhibits. From our early space flight gallery on in and that's the gallery that really showcases the space race between the US in the Soviet Union and in on one side you have the Soviet program where we have flown vause stock and an engineering model of a Bausch stock capsule. And then on the other side we've got the Mercury. And Jim and our programs where the visitor can literally compare and contrast side by side. Of the Apollo gallery with the Apollo thirteen command module capsule as wells the white room the white room. Happens to be my favorite artifact in the collection and in the white room is is the room where the Apollo astronauts standard. I'll walk across the gantry. Into the final seat check outs before they were inserted into the spacecraft and and to think about the emotions. That went. Through those astronauts and in were in that room. Are really incredible and then another one that that is a favor and our visitors is our German gallery where we showcase an actual. V two rockets off from Germany. That really the first ICBM. In this which utilize stood during the war. And then we also have an original V one and and we talk about. The development of the rocket but also the use of of the slave labor. To develop it and in the concentration camps so it's a very powerful exhibit to our visitors really. Enjoy those a year annual state fair help finish this does to some degree. A lot of the visitors to the state fair tend to go to the state fair. And and stay there but we do see some trickle from the fair. We do have our doctor daughter's life science demonstration there on the fairgrounds throughout the under duration. And then I've been talking on here recently with in German fair manager Bob later about. How the cosmos fear in the fair now strata get. Can partner in to induce some things cooperatively together collaborate. Throughout the year as well as during the fair to really showcase Hutchinson as a tourist destination. Something about Kansas and space. I am I know that the media. The gentleman who discovered Pluto. Applied tumble right trip from birdie at Kansas which is where my grandmother's truly wants me so that's there but what there either connect as there are in fact that Kansas has a tremendously rich. History of of space exploration you mentioned. I Clyde. Apollo astronauts. Ron Evans is from Topeka. Iran was the command module pilot on. Apollo seventeen. Joseph Engle was also an Apollo astronauts. From Chapman Kansas. Joseph Louis later to fly as the lunar module pilots. On Apollo seventeen but he got bumped by Harrison Schmitt the the first. Scientists. But then Joseph flew early shuttle missions. And shows a tremendous friend of the cosmos fear and then Steve Hawley. Salina native and current professor at KU. Fact Steve and his wife finally we're just at the cosmos here yesterday. Steve again is a tremendous supporter. Of the Kansas cutter that because most feared. And then we have a currency. Astronaut Nick Cage. Louis late it's a fly up to the International Space Station I believe he launches. On a Soyuz an October arm so good that the latest. Kansas astronaut and then a lot of people don't realize that to the recovery pilots. That recovered the Mercury and Gemini and Apollo spacecraft are also from Kansas. Some Kansas is well represented at in space exploration. Past present and future. Other future side we've got kansans who are working. With scaled composites. On and on their spacecraft and then. The lead test pilot for virgin galactic. Fortier Stuckey. Is a Cannes and so Kansas is out there were proud. That you read and answered but I think partially my next question do astronauts visit the country share. And Houston's Steve Hall absolutely come back pretty fairly regularly and absolutely. Steve probably is there at least once a year we we who worked with Steve regularly serves as an advisor to us. Joseph Engle. Comes every couple of years but then we try and have VIP. Showing from one of the astronauts at least once a year in fact. This year December 1 we're going to have our earth rising event in this is to celebrate. The fiftieth anniversary of Apollo eight the first time we sense humans and spacecraft manned spacecraft to the moon. I'm right now we've got Jim global are isolated to come and Fred Hayes will be here. Aid and several of the mission control is in flight directors will be in attendance. So that'll be a great opportunity for us so we're always such trying to bring the astronauts in into a showcase the cosmos fear and in Kansas and Jim do you have any fundraising events we do we have. Events. Specifically. Four and you campaign. We we tried two new hot things this year we did let's direct mail. A campaign which was very successful for us. And then right now we're doing an on line funding campaign through scale funder. And that's helping to support our annual campaign and targeted. For the 66 days of camp it's not it's the first time we've done that as well. Our. And then next year and 29 team will bring Brett back for everything under the stars fund raising event which is hugely successful popular. So we do you have fund raising events so regularly throughout the year. You the usual and years we dude what we could not accomplish our mission in our objectives with our volunteer force. We have approximately eighty volunteers. That provide over 2000. Hours of of service. And that's the equivalents. Of you know 30000. Dollar employee. So our our volunteers. Provide two hours they provide. Information two to visitors they helped launch our rockets. They help with restoration in the opener camps. They they help our curator channel Wetzel down in the collection. Department with artifacts so without the volunteers we couldn't we couldn't do what we do and in their very important. Part of our team Phillips in the future for the coach well we're were really looking hats. Our strategic plan our business model. In looking at how we can build our revenue and gross. Attendance. Will always be a challenge for us. So we're looking at how we can introduce some other revenue opportunities. Attendance is the backbone in the museum as the backbone and so we're presently raising funds. To do some updates and upgrades for the museum as well some deferred maintenance. We hope to have that under way mid next year. But there were also looking at growing or education programs. We've just introduced a blended online curriculum. Which were looking at distributing not just in the state but nationally and globally. Our space works division is presently doing the restoration for. Historic mission control than in Houston. They also have some opportunities coming up down down the road. We're looking at creating some smaller traveling exhibits. That we can send out. And then just looking at to ways we can continue to innovate so our our fundraising drives and initiatives so a lot of activity. The only question that expression when your biggest challenges I think you just did tell cherry about a well this. So it's it's. Really. Twofold it's it's attendance. You were were off the beaten path a little bit. We're not located in a major metropolitan area. So we we really have to be very strategic in in how we attract attendance. On the did its deferred maintenance much of the challenge some of our infrastructure. As stated so we have to try and find a way to address it. And then it's it's developing other museum exhibit tree that relate to today's visitors. Especially children and then looking at continuing to grow our revenue stream stream to a make sure that the cosmos for remains financially stable for generations to come to watch your favorite part of the judge him. The challenge. In the fact that. We we do have a challenge. And the other is is the opportunities on the constant fear is a tremendous asset for the state in the nation. And there are a lot of opportunities out there and so figuring out how to maximize those opportunities. To combat the challenges Tom I really really enjoy that and then the fact that I'm working at. One of the premier space museums in the world. Located in my home town of Hutchinson. Quiet dignity you talked about visitor attraction and the value there but that's the thing that comes through to me is it. As some tremendous opportunities for especially young people around the state to be involved doesn't fear and then learned a lot of interest thing. Stuff absolutely and I just about science right absolutely week. We have programs. You know if you think of space science kind of as the hub. And then the spokes are all the different subject matters and in so we have programs. That introduce a political science and journalism. Mathematics. Really all the subject matters that that somebody. Would need to be introduced to for a variety of of professions. And again we'd we aren't concerned with whether you wanna become a mathematician and engineer. Or Cianci router a welder. We just want you to find your passion ignited that spark in and do what what you are excited about opponent taste. Thanks for spending some time then thanks for coming up from Hutchinson and spend some time as we appreciate it absolutely my pleasure I guess Jim remarks president and CEO. Of the Kansas cosmic sphere and space center in Hutchinson. That's all for this edition of issues 2018 will be back next week Ian thank you for being weather's. Thanks for being was Jim rebar from the cup this year thank you for listening by Steve Macintosh.