This lapel pin represents the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Smithsonian Institution in 1846. It is a souvenir for Magellan T. Bear's transfer into the Smithsonian collections. Magellan T. Bear became the first official teddy bear in space, flying as the "education specialist" aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-63 mission in February 1995. The bear's journey was part of an ambitious educational project to stimulate interest in geography, science, and social studies. Students and faculty of Elk Creek Elementary School in Pine, Colorado, worked with NASA and Spacehab to have the teddy bear certified for spaceflight. The school also arranged for the bear to fly around the world, visit the South Pole, fly on United Airlines' first Boeing 777 flight, and attend U.S. Space Camp.
Presented to the National Air and Space Museum in May 1998 by librarian Penny Wiedeke and principal Jerry Williams, Magellan T. Bear is on display in the "How Things Fly" gallery.
Gift of Penny Wiedeke and Jerry Williams