Almost 15 years ago, INFINITY set its sight on inspiring, amazing and engaging. The science center’s goal: to be THE place where the curious at any age can lose themselves in the depths of the ocean and the farthest reaches of space. INFINITY’s mission: be a place where guests can explore our earth, oceans and space through deepening levels of involvement, ranging from walks through museum galleries, memorable videos and live presentations, engaging, unique citizen science programs, and occasionally participating in world-class historic events.
INFINITY aspires to be in the life-changing business, for students, for teachers and the curious at any age. We seek to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians by nurturing their innate curiosity. By featuring role models – both heroic individuals AND some of the region’s world-class research organizations – INFINITY seeks to nurture a general populace that will support national commitments to basic scientific research. And since laying a foundation for a scientifically-literate workforce begins with outstanding teachers, INFINITY works hand-in-hand with the area’s front line, formal and home school education communities to help develop a stronger K–12 educator workforce.
Prior to the construction of Interstate 10, visitors to the area could tour a small visitor center, StenniSphere, to learn about the tens of Federal and state labs and offices located in the research complex hosted by NASA at the Stennis Space Center. Guided tours would leave from the little museum several times a day, taking guests along a bus route of seemingly incongruous primordial swamps and massive rocket test stands.
Eventually, bus tours would leave for StenniSphere and the test stands from the I-10 Mississippi Welcome Center at Exit 2 East, an arrangement through the State of Mississippi that provided more people better access to the NASA facility.
In 2001, a group of visionaries came together and formed a non-profit foundation with the goal of raising funds to create a science center that would take over much of the StenniSphere mission and serve as a regional focal point for science research and science education.
NASA was an early partner in the effort, dedicating 199 leasable acres four miles south of the Stennis Space Center main entrance, next to the Welcome Center. Other state, corporate and private partners saw the potential of the project and over the next two years, contributed to a feasibility study and architectural and exhibition design.
The dream endured through the destruction Hurricane Katrina left in her wake. The Mississippi Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal declared that the INFINITY Science Center was “critical to the recovery of the Gulf Coast” and planning resumed. The state contributed $12 million towards the museum’s construction.
Dedicated in 2012, the 70,000 sq. ft. INFINITY Science Center now features an education wing; indoor and outdoor artifacts; Earth and space exhibit galleries; theaters; and live programs and demonstrations. Educational exhibits draw content from real-life space and ocean exploration activities conducted by the more than 30 labs and offices at the nearby research complex. In the few short years it’s been open, INFINITY has seen an annual average of about 60,000 visitors…and the number is steadily growing.
After the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010, Mississippi identified INFINITY as one of five recipients for restoration funds, tasking the science center with educating future generations about environmental protection. Between now and 2018, returning guests and school groups will find enhanced nature trails, an environmental monitoring education program, new indoor and outdoor exhibits and more.
Fred Haise, retired Apollo 13 astronaut and Biloxi, MS, native, is an ardent supporter of the museum and has dedicated much of his time to its success over the past several years.
“INFINITY is located at the apex of Mississippi’s and Louisiana’s brain trust,” says Haise. “Around here, world-changing discoveries are daily occurrences. As a showcase for all this new knowledge, INFINITY can ignite in young minds the concept of positive change. The center can spark in this blossoming generation the belief that everyone has the potential to make the world better and that each of them should explore, develop and then use their talents to the best of their abilities.”
At INFINITY Science Center, we enrich people’s lives by revealing the wonder and relevance of science. We welcome volunteers who share that same passion!
Be an INFINITY Adult Volunteer! (Ages 18+)
Adult volunteers are essential for enriching guest experiences and supporting operations at INFINITY Science Center. From encouraging guest exploration and program engagement, to supporting staff behind the scenes or with special events, volunteering at INFINITY is a great way to get involved in the community and make a real difference for our museum and guests.
INFINITY Science Center seeks to recruit, develop, and retain individuals from diverse backgrounds, and encourage all to apply. We strive to create and support an affirming environment for all staff, interns, and volunteers.
Be an INFINITY Junior Ambassador! (Ages 13-17)
The Junior Ambassador program at INFINITY Science Center is a volunteer opportunity for students entering seventh grade through senior year of high school. Participants experience behind-the-scenes workings of a science museum while increasing science literacy, confidence and honing job skills.
INFINITY’s Junior Ambassador program helps students develop the soft skills they will need to succeed in the workplace, like problem-solving, leadership, working in teams and good communication in a fun, professional science museum environment.
What Junior Ambassadors do:
Junior Ambassadors assist the museum in achieving its mission of revealing the wonder and relevance of science! Throughout the summer and school year, selected Junior Ambassadors may assist in facilitation and activities including day-to-day operation of exhibits, educational camp activities, and educational programming.
To apply to be a volunteer, email Kelsey Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
“I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but I can still do something.”Helen Keller instructs us about the power of one. No non-profit museum or science center covers their annual costs by ticket sales alone. Please consider exercising your power of one to “do something” positive for the future of our youth by supporting the INFINITY Science Center. If you wish, you can specify how INFINITY should use your gift. You may wish to underwrite school field trips or teacher professional development, bring in special events, make capital improvements, add or enhance exhibits, or cover lunches for underprivileged groups. Perhaps you’d like to help enhance the Possum Walk Trail, endow an educator chair, or sponsor a classroom? Any way that is important to you, you can support INFINITY by making a tax deductible donation. Simply click “Donate” button below and you will be taken to our secure Paypal donation portal where your personal payment information will be protected.
Meet Our Board
|Chairman||Jugan, Laurie||Program Director|
|Vice-Chairman||Estess, Andy||Corporate Engineering Manager|
|Chair Elect||Hardenstein, Taylor||Attorney|
|Treasurer||Llewellyn, Ashley||Director of Strategic Initiatives|
|Batchelor, Debora||Vice President|
|Guichet, Paul D.||Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director|
|Haise, Fred||Retired Astronaut|
|Hunt, Susan||Certification Manager|
|Johnson, Guy||Vice President|
|McDaniel, Mike *Past Chairman||General Manager|
|Neumeyer, Vicky||Senior Vice President|
|Payment, Meg||Area Manager|
|Schenewerk, Caryn||Vice President|
|Seal, Susie||Community Activists|
|Wagner, Clay||Senior Vice President|
|Young, Judy||Executive Director|