WASHINGTON (AP) — Amazon founder and soon-to-be-space traveler Jeff Bezos is donating $200 million to the Smithsonian Establishment to spice up its Nationwide Air and Area Museum, the biggest present obtained by the establishment since its founding in 1846.
The Smithsonian stated $70 million of the cash would help museum renovations. The opposite $130 million would go towards constructing a brand new training middle on the museum referred to as the Bezos Studying Middle to encourage college students to advertise innovation and discover careers in science, math and engineering.
“This historic present will assist the Smithsonian obtain its objective of reaching each classroom in America by making a world-class studying middle with entry and inspiration at its coronary heart,” stated Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch.
The donation comes because the richest man on this planet by Forbes’ estimate prepares to satisfy his childhood dream of touring to area. Bezos, 57, will blast into area on July 20 when his area exploration firm Blue Origin makes its first flight with a crew. He’ll be bringing alongside his youthful brother Mark, an investor and volunteer firefighter.
Bezos, a previous contributor to Smithsonian museums, stated in a press release that he needed to help the Smithsonian’s “very important function in igniting the imaginations of our future builders and dreamers.”
“Each youngster is born with nice potential, and it’s inspiration that unlocks that potential,” he stated. “My love affair with science, invention and area did that for me, and I hope this present does that for others.”
The Air and Area Museum on the Nationwide Mall has been present process main renovations since 2018. It stays closed and is scheduled to reopen on July 30.
“At this second, the primary human to set foot on Mars could be in elementary college,” stated Ellen Stofan, the Smithsonian’s underneath secretary for science and analysis and former director of the Nationwide Air and Area Museum. “As the biggest and most visited aerospace museum on this planet, the museum desires to spark that zeal and enrich the creativeness and ingenuity of each scholar who visits the Smithsonian.”
Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO this month. In a weblog put up to staff earlier this yr, Bezos stated he deliberate to commit extra time to facet tasks, together with Blue Origin, his philanthropic initiatives and overseeing The Washington Put up, which he owns.
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