The Whatcom Museum Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Workshop, Film Screening, Artifact

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July 08, 2019

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the Whatcom Museum will be celebrating through a variety of activities for all ages. On Saturday, July 20, the Museum will host a rocket-making workshop for kids, a Smithsonian Channel film screening of “The Day We Walked on the Moon,” and a highlighted artifact from the Museum’s collection.

The workshop, “From Earth to the Moon Rocket Science for Kids” will be held at the Lightcatcher building from 10 a.m. – noon. This program, for ages 8-14, will be led by a museum educator and participants will learn how chemical reactions work while making, and then firing, their own rockets. After designing and assembling the rockets in the Lightcatcher Studio, students will go outside to the Lightcatcher Courtyard to test their creations. Adults, friends, and family are welcome to attend the rocket launch in the courtyard at noon.
The Museum will also present the new Smithsonian Channel documentary, “The Day We Walked on the Moon” in the Rotunda Room of Old City Hall from 1 – 2:30 p.m. This documentary tells the story of this defining moment in our history. Interviews with key figures in Mission Control, contemporary astronauts, and the families of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong shine a light on how dangerous the mission really was and how close it came to failure numerous times. The documentary also features the Lunar Module “Eagle,” now housed at the National Air & Space Museum, as well as interviews with Smithsonian curator Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony.
Visitors can see a historic mechanical model of the solar system known as an orrery, or planetarium, featured from the Museum’s collection. Orreries were popular starting in the early 1700’s and provided people of all ages a method of understanding the orbits of planets and moons, and helped explain night and day, the changing seasons and even predict eclipses. This unique astronomical device will be on display in Old City Hall and illustrates the universal fascination with the solar system, long before the space race to put a man on the moon.
In addition to these special activities, visitors can see the exhibit "Firsts in Flight: A Hidden History" at Old City Hall. The exhibit offers a "timeline tour" that outlines the significant contributions made by women and African Americans, particularly African American women, to our country's aviation and space flight history. Visitors learn about the "hidden figures" who played a pivotal role in the country’s space program, including the momentous moon landing. The exhibit includes a video narrative provided by The Museum of Flight in Seattle called "Doing the Math for NASA: African American Human Computers."  
From Earth to the Moon Rocket Science Kids Workshop
Sat., July 20, 10 a.m. – noon
Lightcatcher building, 250 Flora St.
$30 Non-members/$25 Museum members
Tickets available at
“The Day We Walked on the Moon” Smithsonian Channel Film
Sat., July 20, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St.
Included with admission/Members free
Orrery Artifact Display
Wed. – Sun., noon – 5 p.m.
Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St.
Included with admission/Members free

“Firsts in Flight: A Hidden History”
On exhibit through Aug. 4, 2019
Wed. – Sun., noon – 5 p.m.
Old City Hall, 121 Prospect St.
Included with admission/Members free