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Science Museum Oklahoma to host scientist Bill Nye, begin new planetarium campaign

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Bill Nye

Bill Nye will visit the Science Museum Oklahoma May 8-9.

Famous and well-known scientist Bill Nye will be in Oklahoma City May 8-9.

The scientist from the popular '90s PBS show "Bill Nye, the Science Guy" and CEO of The Planetary Society will be at the Science Museum Oklahoma to kick off the museum's campaign to turn the Omnidome Theatre into a "world-class planetarium," according to a press release.

Lindsay Thomas, communications director for the museum, said the theater closed in September 2015 due to the old-age projector equipment and difficulty finding film to be shown. In 2018, the museum opened the Kirkpatrick Planetarium, which has upgraded equipment and hourly shows during the museum's regular hours. However, that was only phase one.

Phase two will be to move the current planetarium into the Omnidome Theatre.

"It won't just be a planetarium, it will be a whole new space museum," Thomas said. "I think that the words 'state of the art' and 'world-class' can be kind of overused and trite sometimes, but in the case of what we dream of for our planetarium, it really will be."

Thomas said Nye and The Planetary Society are great supporters of the campaign, and the museum's want to begin more astronomy education.

"Astronomy education is something we know that Oklahomans are hungry for," Thomas said.

The two-day visit with Nye will begin with a live recording of "Planetary Radio," a podcast produced by The Planetary Society and hosted by Mat Kaplan, at 3 p.m. May 8.

It will be followed by an evening with Nye at 6:30 p.m., including a VIP reception, a screening of the documentary "Bill Nye: Science Guy" and a Q&A with the scientist, according to the release.

Those who purchase general admission tickets will also be able to attend a discussion on Nye's book series "Jack and the Geniuses" at 10 a.m. May 9, as well as other events.

General admission for the evening with Nye are $50. VIP tickets, which are $100, are sold out, according to the museum's website.

The other events at the museum will be available to those for regular museum admission or those with a museum membership.

Thomas said there is currently not a public timeline for the planetarium's move to the Omnidome Theatre due to fundraising and construction, but hopes to release one soon.

Siandhara Bonnet is a journalism senior and The Daily's Culture editor.

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