Science Center’s Rangos Giant Cinema wins Best Educational Program Award for Apollo 11: First Steps Edition and #summerofspace

A stunning documentary, a dazzling planetarium show, a solar system exhibition, eye-opening astronomy activities, and a stellar slate of special events all orbiting around one pivotal moment in history helped Carnegie Science Center’s Rangos Giant Cinema land a major industry honor last week at the 2019 Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) Achievement Awards. The museum and theater received an award for Best Educational Program for its programming around the MacGillivray Freeman documentary Apollo 11: First Steps Edition and its #SummerofSpace series of educational offerings, exhibits, shows, and special events inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

“The history of Apollo 11 is rich with stories of technological challenges and triumphs,” said The Rangos Giant Cinema Senior Director Chad Hunter. “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition reveals the curiosity, hard work, and ingenuity that drove the mission, and our programs helped tell even more of those human stories while also teaching visitors about the science behind mankind’s greatest voyage.”

GSCA is a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance the business of producing and presenting educational giant screen and immersive cinema experiences globally. Its annual Achievement Awards recognize filmmakers, theaters, and distributors in film, marketing, and education categories.

Together the Science Center and The Rangos celebrated Apollo 11’s golden anniversary all summer, with daily screenings of Apollo 11: First Steps Edition. The team created a new Buhl Planetarium show, Fly Me to the Moon, which highlights the Pittsburghers who helped make the mission a success. Live science demonstrations and related events, like the 18+ Apollo Moonshot Celebration and Space Out! Astronomy Weekend, complemented the theme. Additionally, the Science Center opened a new interactive exhibition, Sun, Earth, Universe, which was created by the National Informal STEM Education Network (NISE Network) in collaboration with NASA. Opportunities abounded for visitors to relive the excitement of Apollo 11 and learn more about space exploration.

There’s still time to experience Apollo 11: First Steps Edition at The Rangos. The film puts audiences at the center of NASA’s historic lunar landing through a newly-discovered trove of never-before-seen 70mm footage and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings. It won GSCA awards for Best Film for Lifelong Learning and Best Sound Design and is now playing on Pittsburgh’s largest screen. It’s perfect for adults who want to relive NASA’s historic mission, as well as children interested in astronomy.

Special screenings and educational films at The Rangos Giant Cinema are presented by Green Mountain Energy. For tickets and show times, visit

Categories: What’s New