BROKEN ARROW, Okla. – There’s a new tool in Broken Arrow for anyone with dizzying dreams. It’s called the Gateway to Solar System Travel.
“A solar system model that lets kids understand something so big with so much space,” says Pat Smith, a former Broken Arrow educator and one of Walkway’s co-founders.
The Voyage is a 1 to 10 billion scale model of the solar system. It has 13 different stations that span 6 ½ football pitches. The Voyage Solar System walkway begins with a welcome sign and the sun in front of Creekwood Elementary and travels to Broken Arrow High School, where you’ll find Pluto.
A team of former educators have spent 25 years bringing The Voyage here. Dr. Jeff Goldstein, a world renowned educator and planetary scientist created the concept.
“It’s a national program that started with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum,” Smith said.
A few other major cities like Washington, DC, and Houston have walkways like this, but Broken Arrow is the smallest community to have one. It is also the only one that is funded by grassroots community effort.
“For example, the sun is offered by Betty Craig, an 80-year-old retired teacher,” said. “It was a group effort, no endowment, no major foundation, just lots of people coming together to make it happen.”
The Voyage was installed this summer and educators have already jumped on board.
“Love that it’s here and our families can use it anytime. We’ve incorporated it into our school’s solar system theme with the motto ‘Go the distance,’” says Nancy Jones, Reading Specialist at Creekwood. Elementary.
The Voyage Solar System Gateway is open 24/7 and can be explored for free.
“Walk around and learn more about space. It will be a great day!” said Jedidiah Platt, a 4th grader.
It’s a community gift that inspires kids to aim for the stars.
“One day they will make a difference in the world,” Smith says.
“And if they want to learn more about the solar system, this will be a great place for them!” said Platt.
The official grand opening will take place on September 13, 2022. You can learn more about the Voyage Solar System Gateway here.
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. new tool Broken Arrow for help the kids aim the stars