The Science Guy is coming to Oklahoma City. Science Museum Oklahoma will host a series of events with Bill Nye and The Planetary Society on May 8-9 including a recording of Planetary Radio Live, a VIP evening experience and numerous family activities to benefit the museum’s recently launched planetarium campaign and to promote astronomy education.
Best known as the host of the ‘90s PBS children's science show “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” Nye currently serves as the CEO of The Planetary Society. Cofounded by Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman, the organization is the world’s largest nonprofit space interest group with members in 130 countries. Its mission is to empower the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration. Nye joined The Planetary Society as a Charter Member in 1980.
From 6:30-10 p.m. on May 8, guests are invited to experience “An Evening with Bill Nye” to kick off the museum’s campaign to turn SMO’s Omnidome Theatre into a world-class planetarium. The evening will include a VIP reception, a screening of the documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy” and a Q&A with the acclaimed science educator following the film.
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bill Nye and The Planetary Society to Science Museum Oklahoma — their mission to advance space science and exploration is perfectly in line with the museum’s astronomy education programs and our current efforts to bring a state-of-the-art planetarium to Oklahoma and our Omnidome Theater,” said Sherry Marshall, president and CEO of Science Museum Oklahoma.
A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $100 and include the reception, a signed copy of one of Nye’s books and reserved seating for the screening. General admission tickets are $50. Doors will open for the VIP reception at 6 p.m. and the VIP reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. General admission doors will open at 7 p.m. and the screening will begin at 7:30 p.m.
As the only public planetarium in the Oklahoma City metro area and the largest planetarium in the state, SMO’s Kirkpatrick Planetarium is an invaluable resource to the community. The museum’s current planetarium equipment was upgraded in 2018 with a new digital system thanks to the generosity of a local donor. The museum has now undertaken a campaign to convert its Omnidome Theater into a state-of-the-art planetarium with custom shows and exhibits.
“This project will allow us to create a premiere planetarium literally from the ground up. We’re working with the best planetarium experts in the nation to ensure every element is thoughtfully considered to create an incredible educational experience for our guests. It will be one of the few planetariums of its kind in the world, right here in Oklahoma,” Marshall added.
Also on May 8, guests are invited to attend a live recording of “Planetary Radio,” The Planetary Society’s podcast, with Nye in SMO’s Science Live auditorium from 3-4:30 p.m. The event is included with general admission or museum membership and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Hosted by Mat Kaplan, each week “Planetary Radio” visits with a scientist, engineer, project manager, astronaut, advocate or writer who provides a unique and exciting perspective on the exploration of the solar system and beyond.
On May 9, guests can sit in for a talk on Nye’s “Jack and the Geniuses” book series at 10 a.m. in the museum’s auditorium — seating is first come, first served — and then take in the Oklahoma City chapter of The Planetary Society’s STEM expo set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. throughout the museum. Activities are included with general admission or membership.
Located at 2020 Remington Place in Oklahoma City, Science Museum Oklahoma is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Daily general admission for Science Museum Oklahoma is $15.95 for adults (ages 13 to 64) and $12.95 for children (ages 3 to 12) and seniors (65 and older). Annual memberships begin at $105.