When Sci-Quest announced its closing earlier this year, many families, especially those with younger children who loved science, were distraught. Sci-Quest could always be counted on as a great place for kids to explore their world in a hands-on way, and their programs and camps always had options for elementary age kids.
Thankfully, another STEM-driven museum is going to great efforts to fill the void. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center acquired all of Sci-Quest’s installations – they are shining up several of the most beloved and giving them a new purpose through their newest exhibit, Summer Smart Play!
Many of Your Favorites Get a Facelift!
While not all of the Sci-Quest exhibits will be on display, many of them are getting a good cleaning, a coat of paint, and a new place to call home. The USSRC was able to refurbish and repurpose 19 of the hands-on activities that focus on energy, weather, and forces of nature.
Some favorites you might see: the Pedal Power Car, Bridge of Electricity, National Weather Service’s Tornado Shelter, Air Maze, Create A Cloud, and yes… the beloved television studio!
Exciting New Additions
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is even enhancing their new-to-them exhibit with additional features of the UAH Smart Car and a 39-inch Magic Planet Sphere, an impressive centerpiece. You’ll recognize the UAH Hybrid Car and a cool Coriolis globe in action from Sci-Quest.
The new exhibit will kick off May 14th, 2016. It will enjoy a first summer in its new home, then close July 25 to make way for an exciting previously scheduled traveling exhibit that opens August 6 (more on that later!). But don’t worry, Summer Smart Play will be back for summer 2017, and the USSRC is working on a more permanent location they will unveil January 2018 – a hands-on Earth & Space Science & Engineering Gallery, if you will.
Miss the all programs SQ offered? The U.S. Space and Rocket Center are continuing to offer more through their Science of Imagination workshops and Saturday Scientist events, not to mention Day Camps for ages 7-11! Get the whole schedule HERE.
Committed to Community & Early Education
Perhaps the most impressive part of this move is how dedicated the USSRC has been in making this rumor become a reality for little scientists everywhere. STEM and STEAM programs are plentiful for students in middle and high school, especially here in Huntsville, but the staff and leadership at the Space Center recognized the real need for quality hands-on activities targeted to elementary-aged kids who learn best by experiencing science with all their senses.
For Families Who Had A Sci-Quest Membership
The USSRC recognizes your predicament, and is honoring all current Sci-Quest memberships through their expiration date. Just present your Sci-Quest membership card at the ticket kiosk of the museum and your family can enjoy all the U.S. Space & Rocket Center has to offer!
If you don’t already have a Sci-Quest or USSRC Family Membership, you should note the USSRC participates in the Association of Science Technology Centers Travel Passport Program, and a family membership can take you to some great places!