The Discovery Science Place is a non-profit, hands-on learning environment with the purpose is to open young minds to science, technology, math and culture.Located at 308 N. Broadway Ave., the Discovery Science Place opened to the public in October 1993. It was started by a few of the Junior League of Tyler participants who wanted children to learn about science and culture.”It’s providing a good learning environment for kids and parents,” Michael Shanklin, executive director of the Discovery Science Place, said. “It’s fun to go, safe to go and it’s educational. They are having fun and learning, as well.”The museum has 15,000 square feet of space and includes three galleries. The Discovery Landing exhibit gives kids a chance to have a hands-on experience to see what could go on in a newsroom, the Magic School Bus and much more. The Joyce Buford Exhibit Hall: Hometown, USA is a child-size community that features a bank, an emergency room, restaurants and much more. This exhibit gives kids a sense of what a community is all about. Another exhibit they have is the Color: The Science & Art of Seeing Light, which explores the science of weather. The museum works with TISD with an after school science club for fourth- and fifth-graders.The passing rate for the science club members on the science portion of TAKS is 84 percent and non-science members are 74 percent. The passing rate for TAKS overall is 93 percent for science club members.”Seeing these scores- we have a huge impact on these kid s who are part of the science club,” Shanklin said.Creativity in science and math is important to the Discovery Science Place and helping children learn. The museum partnered with TISD and the Hudnall Planetarium to let the kids come up with artwork on what reminded them of Mars. The planetarium took the images and merged them into one of their shows.”The more we engage them fully, they will retain it more. Creativity is such an important part,” Angela Watson, science and arts integration coordinator for Discovery Science Place, said. “I am very passionate about what I do.”The Discovery Science Place sees about 300 volunteers a year, it also has summer camp programs for children and internships for students. The museum was honored with national recognition as one of the top 25 science centers in the nation by Parents Magazine.”I’m extremely proud of that. We are giving them a quality education,” Shanklin said.The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and is $6 per person. There is no charge for children under two.

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