Jeff Bezos, creator of Amazon and Blue Origin, contributed $200 million to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Wednesday to fund the establishment of a new teaching centre.
The Washington, D.C., museum said that $70 million of the donation will be used for renovation projects while $130 million will go toward the Bezos Learning Center which will be built on the east side of the museum’s plaza on the National Mall.
“The center will connect to all Smithsonian museums, coordinating STEAM-related (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) collections and experts across the institution and promoting inquiry-based learning in visitors of all ages, with a focus on under-resourced communities,” the Smithsonian said.
The Smithsonian noted that Bezos has previously made contributions to its National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Air and Space Museum.
“The Smithsonian plays a vital role in igniting the imaginations of our future builders and dreamers,” Bezos added. “Every child is born with great potential, and it’s inspiration that unlocks that potential. My love affair with science, invention and space did that for me and I hope this gift does that for others.”
Bezos said last month that he will go on Blue Origin’s first passenger space trip, which is slated for July 20.
He will be joined on the journey by his brother, Mark Bezos, 82-year-old female aviator Wally Funk, and a fourth passenger, whose identity has not been published, who paid more than $29 million for a ticket.