Herald American

Downey space center to host science festival

DOWNEY — The Columbia Memorial Space Center, 12400 Columbia Way, will host  a science festival April 6 to 11, focusing on technology, enginering and math.

Sponsored by Aerojet-Rocketdyne, based in Canoga Park,  the event will be the first such science festival in the Los Angeles area, said Benjamin Dickow, executive director of the center.

“Each day, from April 6-11, the Space Center will be holding science-themed events around town with a big culminating event at the Space Center April 11,” Dickow said. “This is our way of reaching out to the community and reintroducing the Space Center to the public.”

The City Council March 10 removed the $5 admission fee to the center, making it free all six days.

The council that night also honored Aeroject Rocketdyne for a $15,000 donation toward the event, presented by Tony Magee, the company’s education outreach director.

Dickow said that because April 11 is also the date of the Downey Chamber of Commerce’s annual Street Fair, the city is planning a free shuttle between the center and the all-day fair on Brookshire Avenue north of Firestone Boulevard.

With the week-long event, the city also hopes to establish the Space Center as the hub of science learning experiences throughout the region, the spokesperson said.

“The Columbia Memorial Space Center not only celebrates our city’s rich aerospace history, but also inspires our youth to become the next generation of space explorers,” Mayor Luis Marquez said.

The Columbia Memorial Space Center also announced that Gencorp, the parent company of Aerojet-Rocketdyne, as the new lead sponsor of the center.