The Museum of Science and History (MOSH) was transformed over the weekend into the Museum of Science-and- the-Future as envisioned by the likes of George Lucas, Gene Roddenberry and MOSH Planetarium Director Thomas Webber.
The stars just seemed to align themselves. Not only did the museum have a rare free weekend between exhibits, Saturday's date, May the 4th, has special meaning for Star Wars fans: "May the Fourth be with you." It's a play on "May the Force be with you," one of the most famous movie lines ever delivered.
"I had people talk to me over the week say, 'Are you just going have a table or two set up? Maybe a reading list from the library?'" says Webber. "Then they walk onto the second floor and they're looking at the whole space is filled with people, costumed characters, memorabilia and sets from Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who and all sorts of science fiction."
It may have looked like your typical sci-fi convention, but it wasn't. Fiction, Webber says, was just the delivery mechanism for the real focus, which was getting kids excited about honest-to-God science.
"It's not a con environment but an educational one where we're trying to look at science fiction as a genre. As an art form. As entertainment. How it influences society; how it motivates students," Webber says. "So many astronauts, and scientists and engineers will tell you they got interested in doing what they do because they grew up watching 'Buck Rogers' and 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars,' and they said 'I want to do that. I want to make that real.'"
This year’s event was twice as long as last June's Science Fiction Day, which makes Webber wonder what next year will bring.
"When all the dust settles, we'll start formulating our plans for next year and see what other surprises we can bring to it to make it better. Maybe even bigger. And longer."