Will and Mary Pope Osborne are the 2015 recipients of the Jupiter Award for Outstanding Contributions to Science Education, presented by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Presented annually since 2011, the Jupiter Award recognizes the accomplishments of individuals who support informal science education programs serving K-12 students and schools throughout North Carolina. Previous recipients include former astronaut William Thornton and science educator Betsy Bennett.
Mary Pope Osborne is the author of the popular Magic Tree House® series of children’s books. Will Osborne, her husband, is the author of several nonfiction companion guides that explore the science behind the stories. He is also the scriptwriter for several Morehead planetarium shows, including “Magic Tree House® Space Mission,” based on the “Midnight on the Moon” book from the series, and "Solar System Odyssey."
Both Mary and Will lived in North Carolina as children and are UNC-Chapel Hill alumni. They appear in cameo roles in the “Magic Tree House® Space Mission” planetarium show, which has been among Morehead’s most popular shows since its premiere in 2004 and is now available internationally through distribution to other fulldome planetariums. They have also visited Morehead many times to talk with their fans about their books, to provide input on planetarium shows and to participate in book signings.
Morehead Director Todd Boyette presented the Jupiter Award to Will and Mary Pope Osborne during the gala Jupiter Ball, held at the science center on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.