Named for Francis Richard “Dick” Scobee, a San Antonio College graduate who became a U.S. astronaut, the 22,000-square foot Scobee Education Center at SAC gives visitors a hands-on opportunity to experience space.
Artist Robert McCall’s “First Men on the Moon” painting, an eight-by-twelve foot mural, sets the stage for this state-of-the-art place of learning. The $12-million center includes the Scobee Planetarium and the Challenger Learning Center. The planetarium is open to the public most Fridays from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. with age-specific programs for kids ages 4 and up. Bring cash or a check to purchase tickets. Adults cost $5, and kids, seniors and military are $4.
The Challenger Learning Center offers simulated missions to the International Space Station for middle school-aged students on science- and math-related field trips. Teachers may call (210) 486-0103 for reservations.
The Scobee Education Center also offers free star-gazing parties throughout the year in the Charles E. Cheever, Jr., Star Tower. Its $25,000 telescope will bring the stars within your reach.
This Sunday, Sept. 27, Scobee is hosting an Eclipse Extravaganza that is free and open to the public. Bring lawn chairs and binoculars! A food truck will be on site. The lunar eclipse will reach totality at 9:47 p.m., but the event will begin at 7 p.m. with telescopes set up on the Powell Star Deck and Lot 21 to the south of the building. Cultural tales of the moon will begin at 7:30 p.m.
The San Antonio Astronomical Association, the San Antonio Storytellers Association, the Scobee Planetarium and the SAC Astronomy Department are coordinating this event. In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, more than 15 local artists will exhibit their interpretation of the lunar eclipse and space in the first floor areas.
Why such a big deal about this lunar eclipse? According to NPR, “[I]t’s the first total eclipse that’s also a supermoon and a blood moon in more than three decades.” Don’t miss it.
Although Dick Scobee passed away in the 1986 Challenger disaster, he and his wife’s legacy lives on. June Scobee Rodgers wrote: “San Antonio is where our Scobee story began, and where today, the union of the Scobee Planetarium with the Scobee Education Center is launched to touch the future. It will be our shining star–a Silver Lining!”
The entrance of Scobee is approximately one block east of the San Pedro Avenue/West Park Street intersection. SAC’s street address is 1819 N. Main Ave. The Education Center’s phone number is (210) 486-0100. Follow Scobee on Facebook for updates on their programs.
For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. ¡Viva San Antonio!