2018 Donor Impact Report


Under a new strategic plan framework, Space Center Houston is developing extraordinary education programs and experiences to inspire and engage visitors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning.

Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for NASA Johnson Space Center, is uniquely positioned to leverage the research and development currently underway in human space exploration to create authentic, compelling and accessible education programming based on NASA’s advances in space science and exploration.

Throughout 2018, generous gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations helped Space Center Houston provide underserved communities with access to its education programs.

Space Center Houston programs like Exploration Academy, Title 1 Field Trip program and Girls STEM Academy are supported by contributions and are important for the future as they help students build awareness of potential pathways to STEM careers and ignite a life-long passion for science and space learning.

In 2018, philanthropic contributions helped Space Center Houston reach 177,684 children and students in and around the Houston area, which includes 45,198 underserved students who engaged in Girls STEM, participated in Exploration Academy and visited Space Center Houston at a deeply discounted rate as part of Space Center Houston's Title 1 Field Trip program.

Thank you to our supporters who attended events and contributed to new and/or enhanced programming during 2018.

Fall Luncheon: To the Moon and Beyond

Space Center Houston hosted its second biennial luncheon "To the Moon and Beyond" on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Houston. The event paid special tribute to legendary Apollo flight director Gene Kranz and highlighted his extraordinary contributions to human space exploration and his leadership in helping to make the Historic Mission Control restoration project a reality.

Co-chaired by Susie and Pat Cunningham and Gwen Griffin and Al Saylor, more than 400 attendees came together to raise a total of $307,000 at the 2018 luncheon. A lively appeal following Kranz’s remarks at the event raised close to an additional $50,000, which Space Center Houston will use to establish a scholarship in his name for students to attend Space Center Houston’s Space Center University®.

Proceeds from the 2018 luncheon supported Space Center Houston’s $5 million campaign, On a Mission.

Gene Kranz speaking at the To the Moon and Beyond Luncheon

Legendary flight director Gene Kranz speaks at the 2018 fall luncheon To the Moon and Beyond.

New Membership Program

Space Center Houston's new membership program offers a greater variety of experiences, benefits and value for members. The new program provides opportunities for deeper engagement with Space Center Houston through seven different tiers of membership. With more than 450 artifacts, fun and engaging educational programs and ever-changing exhibits, the new membership program makes it easy to come back and see more.

In addition to benefits like free general admission, priority boarding for NASA Tram Tours and Monthly Member Mornings, Space Center Houston also debuted a new "Discovery Circle" membership tier this year with enhanced benefits and opportunities to contribute to Space Center Houston’s growth. Discovery Circle members receive Smithsonian Affiliate membership, guest passes to share and invitations to VIP Thought Leader events and quarterly Discovery Briefings on various topics in space exploration.

Discovery Circle Contributor and Patron members make a philanthropic gift through their membership to Space Center Houston, which helps further our mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration.

In 2018, Space Center Houston’s new membership program encompassed more than 16,000 active households.

Member event in Rocket Park

As part of our new Discovery Briefings, Space Center Houston members enjoy a presentation from Dr. Allan Needell, Curator Emeritus of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, at Rocket Park.

Girls STEM Academy

Space Center Houston’s Girls STEM Academy provides local middle-school age girls with opportunities to become engaged in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“I was able to hear people's stories of how they entered STEM careers and about what NASA does. This was exciting to learn I could enter the field too.” Girls STEM Academy participant

This hands-on program teaches young girls about robotics, application design and computer programming, while also building their confidence in construction and experimenting with engineering challenges.

One of Girls STEM Academy’s main goals is to increase interest in and awareness of STEM-related careers.

Thanks to generous grant support from Boeing, Space Center Houston’s Girls STEM Academy served 1,846 girls from underserved schools within Harris, Galveston and Fort Bend Counties throughout the 2018 school year.

Young girl operating robot

A Girls STEM Academy participant operates a robotic rover to solve problems, build confidence in construction and experiment with engineering.

Scientist in Residence Program

Space Center Houston welcomed Dr. John Charles as its first Scientist in Residence in April 2018. Dr. Charles retired from NASA Johnson Space Center as Chief Scientist of the Human Research Program in February, following an extensive career in space science, bioastronautics and biomedical research.

His role at Space Center Houston integrates our organization’s efforts to create human interactives and biomedical interpretations that will ultimately lead to enhanced educational experiences for our guests and visitors.

In late 2018, Barrios Technology Inc. pledged to support Space Center Houston’s Scientist in Residence program for a period of five years. It is because of community leaders like Barrios and innovative programs like the Scientist in Residence program that SCH is able to continue advancing its mission to inspire all generations through the wonders of space exploration.

Dr. John Charles in Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston's first Scientist in Residence Dr. John Charles near our Skylab 1-G Trainer in Starship Gallery.

Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC)

Space Center Houston held its 24th annual Space Exploration Educators Conference (SEEC) at Space Center Houston Feb. 1-3, 2018.

New this year, the conference provided interactive sessions co-presented by NASA experts and educators. Teachers learned about the latest research happening at NASA Johnson Space Center, received ready-to-implement ideas for classroom activities and valuable networking opportunities with their colleagues.

For educators from K-12 and beyond, the three-day conference featured keynote speakers such as Vanessa Wyche, NASA Johnson Space Center deputy director, Dr. Alan Stern, New Horizons principle investigator and legendary Apollo flight director Gene Kranz.

Over the years, thousands of educators have attended from the United States and around the world, many on scholarship thanks to generous support from the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation and the Tranquility Foundation.

In 2018, 550 teachers from the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Portugal, Japan and Hong Kong participated in hands-on learning experiences with scientists, astronauts and renowned instructors at SEEC.

Educators conducting experiments at SEEC

Educators conduct science experiments during a session at the Space Exploration Educators Conference. In 2018, 550 teachers attended SEEC to participate in hands-on workshops, receive ready to implement classroom ideas and network with fellow educators.

Pop-up Science Labs presented by Chevron

A generous grant from Chevron supports Space Center Houston’s mission to provide guests with hands on interactive learning experiences based on space content. Pop-up Science Labs presented by Chevron gives guests of all ages the opportunity to participate in learning experiences focused on the scientific method and the engineering design process as they form hypotheses, create designs, conduct tests and draw conclusions.

The Pop-up Science Lab project is unique as it gives many of Space Center Houston’s guests the chance to become active participants and not just passive observers in science learning. Older adults experience just as much enjoyment as young children as they work through the challenges offered at these portable learning stations, which attract participant numbers in the hundreds on high attendance days.

In 2018, Space Center Houston served 80,101 guests through its Pop-Up Science Labs programming.

Guests building objects with LEGO bricks at a Pop-Up Science Lab

Space Center Houston guests explore life on distant planets by building space habitats using LEGO® bricks in our Pop-Up Science Lab.

2018 Honor Roll of Donors

The 2018 Honor Roll of Donors recognizes supporters who have made gifts totaling $1,000 or more and Patron-level members between Jan. 1, 2018 and Dec. 1, 2018.

Every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of names and data. Please bring any errors or omissions to our attention at giving@spacecenter.org or call Mallory Rogers at +1-281-283-7710.

$100,000 and above

City of Webster

$50,000 - $99,999

Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation
Anders Foundation

$25,000 - $49,999

Aerojet Rocketdyne
Jeanne and Richard Filip

$10,000 - $24,999

Barrios Technology, Inc.
The Fondren Foundation, Inc.
Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation
Hudson Group
Landmark Aviation
Keith and Alice Mosing
Tricia and Jeff Swearingen

$5,000 - $9,999

Susie and Pat Cunningham
Joe Davis
Houston First Corporation
Peggy Kostial
MLN Service
MRI Technologies
NASA Alumni League - JSC Chapter
Mary and Michael Novelli
Leslie and Adam Schneider
Janine and Michael Schueppert
Tranquility Foundation

$2,500 - $4,999

Amegy Bank
BBVA Compass
Lori and Mike Bloomfield
Daniel Cohen
Del Papa Distributing Company
John Elbon
Foley Gardere
Betsy and Fred Griffin
Gwen Griffin and Al Saylor
Houston Spaceport
Karen and Rich Jackson
Bill King
Nancy and Tracy Lamm
Northrop Grumman
Novelli, Harvie and Associates
Drs. Susmita and Syamal Poddar
Stewart Title
Strake Foundation
Tech Trans International
Kim and Dan Tutcher
Haviland Digital

$1,000 - $2,499

J. Downey Bridgwater
James Broadfoot
Bud Light/Silver Eagle Distributors
Sharon Carter
John Edward Cools Jr.
Maria Culley
Charles "Charlie" Moss Duke
Lorrie and Mike Foreman
Deborah Gary
Todd Hansen
William T. Harris
Kennedy Space Center
Jill Lukoschek
Christine Matthews
Travis McKenzie
Charles Moore
Stewart Morris, Jr.
Nathan Odle
Roksan Okan-Vick
Linda Patterson
Powell Foundation
Ralph and Genevieve B. Horween Foundation
Marshall Sweed
Dana and Kenneth Tuggle
Allen White

Patron level members

Suzanne and Mark Anderson
Patricia and Erik Edgeller
Yaakoub El Khamra
Duke Ensell
Harold Fesler
Marie and Richard Fish
Amanda Foust and Henri Leowski
Janet Goldenberg
Connie and Frank Greider
Irene Hickey and Charles Kroll
Kathy and Patrick Hogan
Sandy Krebs and Don Hansen
Yi Li
Amand and Pete Matranga
Lisa and James Mathis
Kim and Jason Olea
Donna Peterson and Alan Tegeler
Susmita and Syamal Poddar
Girish and Mallik Putcha
Brandy Saylor and Roy Davis
Sara and Neil Shah
Cali and Robert Sokol
Lisa and Jim Spavale
Summer and Julian Stone
Tara and Harvey Stotland
Kenny Tan
Yuko Toyama and Seth Cenac
Annette Hall Wade
Vivian and Bill Wied
Salle Yoo and Melissa Patton

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