Campus, News

Science Learning Center, Mobile Science Museum in danger of closing

The Associated Students, Inc. Senate voted on a resolution for a plan to keep the Science Learning Center and Mobile Science Museum open during its meeting last night.

The Science Learning Center and the Mobile Science museum do not receive direct funding from Cal State Long Beach and function primarily through the Leo Endowment Fund, which is money given to the school as donations. These donations allow visitors and volunteers to feed the aquatic wildlife.

“We need to have more senator members advocating for the Science [Learning] Center to keep it open,” ASI Vice President Logan Vournas said.

The resolution has passed two readings, but needs to pass through a third in order to approve a plan, according to Vournas.

“If this is what we have to do to keep it open, then let’s vote to keep it open,” Senator-at Large Daniel Gomez said.

Located in the Hall of Science room 110, the Science Learning Center provides a hands-on experience where students and members of the community can interact with the exhibits  such as an aquariums, weathervanes, and aquatic wildlife.

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley donated about $2000 so the center could hire volunteers for maintenance, according to Director of the Science Learning Center Jim McKibben.

The Mobile Science Museum is a recreational vehicle that travels to different locations with a variety of science exhibits covering astronomy, biology and zoology. The museum is self-sufficient and charges $400 a visit, according to McKibbin.

This type of informal environment improves science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and increases student interest in these fields, according to McKibben.

McKibben will be retiring Sept. 30, leaving questions as to who will take charge of the Science Learning Center and the Mobile Science Museum. In response, the department has formed a task force to look for a full time director and increased funding.

Currently, the task force is looking to add more students. Those who are interested can contact Senator-at-Large Yasmin Elasmar for more information.

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