In this year of extraordinary challenges, the SCI team has adapted and innovated to meet the needs of our audiences. But one thing we’ve seen time and time again this year is that SCIENCE IS ESSENTIAL. Doctors and researchers have worked to learn about this new virus. Work and school have shifted to our homes, requiring the use of new technology. And now, multiple promising vaccines are on the horizon, which will help improve lives around the globe.
As a nonprofit organization that relies on visitors coming through our doors and providing services across the state, we need your support now more than ever.
Meeting the Needs of Our Community
Throughout the past eight months, here are a few ways SCI has adapted and innovated to meet the needs of our community:
· Safety First – SCI's plans throughout the pandemic have been rooted in science. A strategic reopening plan focused on the health and safety of staff, volunteers, members and visitors while following the guidance of public health officials and best practices shared by our peers at the Association of Science and Technology Centers.
· Virtual Programming – This spring, SCI staff worked quickly to implement “Go Beyond with SCI,” an initiative that provides at-home resources and learning opportunities through virtual platforms and an online library of resources, workshops and presentations.
· Summer Camps - SCI Summer Camps operated virtually for the first two weeks and moved to in-person camp experiences for the remaining 10 weeks with reduced numbers of campers and new procedures to reduce the spread of germs.
· SCI Reopens – In July, SCI reopened to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Reopening procedures included the requirement of masks and health screenings as well as enhanced safety and sanitation procedures. Over Labor Day weekend, we opened a new traveling exhibit, SUE: The T. rex Experience, bringing a world-class experience to Central Iowa.
These needed resources from our STEM Champions will allow us to continue addressing the informal science educational needs of our community, maintain our essential operations and provide us the ability to successfully scale back up as the economy begins to slowly recover.
The Science Center of Iowa (SCI) brings learning to life, serving Iowans and beyond through daily visitors, a statewide educational outreach program and the NAEYC-accredited SCI Preschool which help SCI meet its mission to engage and inspire Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning.
SCI programming reaches every county in the state of Iowa, promotes cultural awareness and provides unique experiences for Iowans. The broad range of available opportunities speaks to the many roles SCI plays for the community and is the foundation upon which SCI has built a successful organization.
Centrally located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, SCI welcomes Iowans and distant visitors. Two floors of permanent exhibits bring a variety of science content to life, engaging and inspiring visitors of all ages to explore scientific phenomena.
Children ages 3 to 5 receive groundbreaking STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in SCI’s nationally-accredited, museum-based preschool.
SCI also brings innovative STEM learning to communities statewide through the Science @ Your Site outreach program and teacher professional development trainings, which provide educators across the state with the innovative approaches to bring to their formal and informal learning environments.
Throughout 2020, it has become clear that science is essential.
At the Science Center of Iowa, our goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors... the ones who will solve the the world's next big problems.
As we celebrate 50 years of inspiration and impact at SCI, please join us in our efforts to create a community that is engaged and inspired by science. Become a STEM Champion to show your support and encourage others to invest in our mission.
It's easy! Here's how: