Discovery Place
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Discovery Place
Discovery Place Science
Former name Discovery Place
Established 1981
Location 301 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
Type Science Museum
Visitors 520,000 (as of 2009)
Director Catherine Wilson Horne
Website Discovery Place

Discovery Place Science is a science and technology museum for visitors of all ages located in the Uptown area of Charlotte, North Carolina. Discovery Place Science brings science to life through hands-on interactive exhibits, thrilling activities and experiments, an IMAX Dome Theatre, and boundless other educational opportunities and programs. The Museum, which first opened in 1981, underwent an 18-month, $31.6 million renovation in 2010 that transformed it into a reimagined state-of-the-art science and technology museum.

Discovery Place Science also operates an IMAX Dome Theatre, sometimes referred to as an OMNIMAX theatre. Discovery Place's Charlotte Observer IMAX Dome Theatre offers an immersive, up-close movie experience in the largest IMAX Dome Theatre in the Carolinas.

Discovery Place's main entrance from Tryon Street in Uptown Charlotte

Rebranding

In 2016, the organization became known as Discovery Place, consisting of three Museum brands: Discovery Place Science (formerly Discovery Place) in uptown Charlotte, Discovery Place Nature (formerly Charlotte Nature Museum) in Freedom Park and Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville and Rockingham. Additionally, the organization provides extensive professional development through the Education Studio and educational programming throughout the community through its outreach program.

History

The story begins in 1946 with a school teacher named Laura Owens.

Friends, colleagues, parents and community members had been bringing her objects, live animals and specimens from the natural world, and she decided that her students needed a hands-on environment in which to observe and learn about these things. With help from the community, she opened a small museum on Cecil Street in Charlotte.

Ms. Owens' small experiment was so well-received that soon the community, led by the Junior League of Charlotte and the Lions Club, worked with Mecklenburg County to develop a new Children's Nature Center. The building was situated on property adjacent to the new Freedom Park, which allowed for access to the outside and the wonders of the natural world.

When the new Museum opened in 1951, it was one of the first facilities in the Southeast focused on bringing families and nature together. Its new hands-on approach to science and nature education was embraced by the community, and in 1965, the Museum opened a planetarium to begin educating students about the skies above. Students traveled from all over the state to learn about the night sky.

By the 1970s, Charlotte Nature Museum had grown into one of the most popular attractions in town, and its leaders were intent on expanding its reach and scope. Interest in science education was growing, spurred on by a post-Sputnick Soviet Union. The community responded to the demand for quality science education by approving funding and plans for a comprehensive hands-on science and technology center. Seeking to provide access for a growing Charlotte and to encourage uptown development, leaders decided to locate the new Museum on North Tryon Street.

In 1981, a new museum known as Discovery Place opened its doors at 301 North Tryon Street with 72,000 square feet of space.

As the needs of the community grew, the facility expanded. In 1986, exhibition space was added to accommodate traveling exhibitions and in 1991 The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre opened as the first giant-screen motion picture theatre in the Carolinas. The Carol Grotnes Belk Education and Parking Complex was completed in 1996. In 2010, Discovery Place was completely transformed, with an 18-month, $31.6 million renovation, resulting in a re-imagined Museum with all-new interactive exhibitions and state-of-the-art labs that allowed the public to engage in real-world science problem solving.

With the region continuing to grow, Discovery Place followed suit, opening the first Discovery Place Kids museum in 2010 in Huntersville, NC. Planned as a network of community-based children's museums, Discovery Place Kids aspires to maximize the whole child by offering imaginative environments that encourage learning through play. Through unique public-private partnerships, the network continues to expand with a second Discovery Place Kids opened in 2013 in Rockingham, NC.

As the learning needs of the Charlotte region continued to expand, Discovery Place made a commitment to training the region's educators to be inspired and inspiring teachers of STEM education. In 2014, Discovery Place Education Studio at Bank of America STEM Center for Career Development opened on the Museum's uptown campus. The program is dedicated to educator professional development with a goal of advancing student and teacher attitudes and achievements in STEM.

In 2016, the organization became known as Discovery Place, consisting of three Museum brands: Discovery Place Science in uptown Charlotte, Discovery Place Nature in Freedom Park and Discovery Place Kids in Huntersville and Rockingham. Additionally, the organization provides extensive professional development through the Education Studio and educational programming throughout the community through its outreach program.

Discovery Place Nature

Discovery Place operates Discovery Place Nature, formerly Charlotte Nature Museum, located at 1658 Sterling Road, adjacent to Freedom Park. The Museum features interactive nature exhibits and live animal displays, including a butterfly pavilion, live species, insects and a variety of native North Carolina animals.

Discovery Place Kids

In Fall 2010, Discovery Place opened its first Discovery Place Kids Museum in Huntersville, North Carolina.[1][2] Part of a larger vision to develop other Discovery Place Kids locations across the region,[3] Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville appeals to families with young children and offers those living in outlying suburban communities the opportunity to visit a Discovery Place Museum closer to home. An $18.7 million public-private venture between Discovery Place, Inc. and the City of Huntersville, Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville offers unique, learning-through-play experiences for young children. Through unique public-private partnerships, the network continues to expand with a second Discovery Place Kids opened in 2013 in Rockingham, NC.

Discovery Place also offers off-site educational experiences to community groups and schools throughout N.C. and S.C. through its Outreach program.

Discovery Place Education Studio

As the learning needs of the Charlotte region continued to expand, Discovery Place made a commitment to training the region's educators to be inspired and inspiring teachers of STEM education. In 2014, Discovery Place Education Studio at Bank of America STEM Center for Career Development opened on the Museum's uptown campus. The program is dedicated to educator professional development with a goal of advancing student and teacher attitudes and achievements in STEM.

References

  1. ^ "Discovery Place Kids nears its fall opening". The Charlotte Observer. 2010-05-23. Retrieved . 
  2. ^ "Now Opening: Discovery Place Kids". The Charlotte Observer. 2010-10-22. Retrieved . [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Discovery Place Announces Discovery Place KIDS Rockingham". WSOC-TV. 2010-09-27. Archived from the original on 2010-12-05. Retrieved . 

External links

Coordinates: 35°13?46?N 80°50?27?W / 35.22944°N 80.84083°W / 35.22944; -80.84083


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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