Science Center Grand Opening Set For Saturday
Downtown State College is known for various things including pizza places, clothing stores, and bars. One thing it has been lacking is a museum. That is about to change. Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, located on Foster Avenue behind Allen Street, had its initial opening on July 13, 2011 during Children’s Day of the annual Arts Festival. The center will take it a step further on Saturday with their grand opening.
The idea of a science museum has been a long-term plan in the works for nearly nine years and started to come fruition last January as construction and renovations began. Funding from the Center County Visitors Bureau, the State College Borough, and private donors has made the project feasible. The center’s mission statement is:
To provide engaging science experiences which spark creativity, curiosity, and imagination.
“Our product focuses on science and education”, said Executive Director Art Heim. With over fifteen exhibits including a flight simulator, a beaver dam, a 3D room, a studio, and a pirate and archaeology dig among others, children will be entertained with plenty of hands-on activities. “It’s all about science and the kids”, added Heim.
The typical operating hours for the science center are Wednesday-Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 12-5 with an admission price of $6 per individual; however, admission will be completely free on Saturday with festivities beginning around 9:30 a.m. Activities outside of the museum for the opening will include rocket launches, musical performances, and jugglers with a ribbon-cutting ceremony occuring around 10:15 a.m.
With hopes of growth for the future, Discovery Space intends to take advantage of various events that bring visitors to State College including football weekends, THON, and Arts Fest. They also plan to offer field trips, birthday parties, and memberships for frequent visitors. More information about these offers can be found on their official website.
The recommended age for visitors is twelve and under with adult supervision. The center may not directly appeal to college students; however, I have visited a few times as part of a class project and found many of the exhibits to be incredibly interesting. This innovative museum is a recommended stop for anyone who has family, with young children visiting, and in ways, makes me yearn for the days when I was seven years old again.