The museum’s first student planetarium operator and long-time friend Dr. Eileen Starr passed away in September 2020. Eileen discovered the “Exhibit Museum” during her freshman orientation in 1958 and asked for a job. The only student position that offered enough hours was as a student operator in the planetarium. Eileen credited her tenure as a museum student docent for setting her on her life course, which included working as either a planetarium director or a teacher of Earth Science classes in cities across the country.
When museum staff shared the exciting plans for the new museum with Eileen, she made the decision to honor the museum that inspired her career path by establishing the Dr. Eileen Starr Hands-On Science Fund. The Fund will support hands-on science learning opportunities at the museum, in perpetuity. After Eileen passed away, the museum learned that Eileen designated funds in a bequest to be added to the Fund after her death. We will miss Eileen and are deeply grateful for her thoughtful generosity, which will continue to have an impact for generations to come.