Cedar Park will be home to the first and only science & technology museum in Central Texas, starting next month. The Austin Planetarium will open as the Texas Museum of Science & Technology (TXMOST) on March 20, 2015 in an interim facility located in the former SoccerPlex building just off Whitestone Boulevard (RM 1431) and Parmer Lane, on Toro Grande Boulevard. The building is 30,000 square feet with 35-foot ceilings, which will enable TXMOST to build a smaller version of the permanent facility to come.
For years, the Austin area has been the largest metropolitan area in the United States without a multidisciplinary science museum or planetarium. TXMOST will fill this longstanding void, introducing a whole new world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to Central Texans.
TXMOST Executive Director Torvald Hessel says that the Austin Planetarium changed its name to the Texas Museum of Science & Technology to better communicate its mission.
“We will show exhibits from various sciences and host traveling science and technology exhibits from all over the world as well as feature a planetarium,” Hessel says.
“Although our primary mission is to open a permanent first-class science & technology museum and planetarium in the Austin area, which will take several years of development, we decided to open an interim facility now,” Hessel explained. “The ideal facility we were looking for needed to be large enough with ceilings high enough to accommodate a planetarium, and after a lengthy search we found the perfect building in Cedar Park.”
Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell said, “Cedar Park is excited to see the interim location of the Texas Museum of Science & Technology coming to our city. Science museums play a major role not only in providing an educational entertainment option for families, but also in delivering STEM-based resources to get kids excited about science, engineering, and the world around them.”
Hessel says that TXMOST will open with traveling exhibits developed by world renowned museums and research institutions, and increase its own permanent collections as time goes on. In addition, Hessel says that they will add a planetarium before the end of the year. However, he is waiting to reveal TXMOST’s opening exhibit.
“I can say that we will open with an absolute blockbuster, so stay tuned!” Hessel said, adding, “The general public in the Austin area has been clamoring for a science museum for years, and with assistance from the City of Cedar Park we’re finally going to be able to make that dream come true.”