A group of state lawmakers who recently toured the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation’s (DASEF) facilities in Smyrna are pledging to help the site get state money.
Founded in 1989, the foundation has been slowly and steadily building up its facilities along Route 1 in Smyrna as money became available.
Senator Robert Venables (D-Laurel) says the state should step up to provide funding to finish building the foundation’s campus. He says he surprised by the quality of the facility during a tour this week. “I had no idea it was as nice as it is. I marvel at how much they’ve done without state money,” Venables said. “I think what they do by teaching our kids that are in the public schools and private schools and charter schools, in some way we need to tie it in with the education system to help them out.”
Completing construction and upgrades at the site is expected to cost $7.1-million.
In addition to get help from the state, the foundation is also reaching out to non-profits in the state as well as NASA to help accomplish its mission. DASEF president Stephanie Wright was thrilled with Venables’ pledge to push the issue with Governor Markell and other legislators.
“It’s just incredible,” Wright said. “He’s been in our court for many years and this year he’s just decided to make it a challenge and it’s just wonderful.”
The foundation hosts a space camp at the University of Delaware during the summer and welcomes 17,000 students to its Smyrna campus for day programs throughout the year. Their telescope is the second largest in Delaware.