A New Discovery

The grand opening of the new Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville

Yesterday, President Obama hosted a White House Science Fair to honor the winners of the national STEM competitions (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The President heard about student projects, and shook the hands of those budding Pascals. The fair is part of the Educate to Innovate campaign, which, since November 2009, the Administration has pushed to encourage interest in and attention to math and science in American schools—hoping, of course, that American students would follow.

A New York Times article quotes the the President: "If you win the NCAA Championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, or the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too."

While the scientific process leading to a Presidential handshake at the White House involves a lot of trial and error, the Q.C. can proudly say it hit a bull’s eye when it comes to getting kids to like science. As of Saturday, we’ll have a science-oriented museum specifically designed to make everything from the health sciences, to engineering, to marine biology totally accessible and fun for its youngest (think ages 8 and under) scientists.

On Saturday, the new Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville will open its doors for the first time, kicking off the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Admission to the museum, usually $8, will be reduced to $4 for the day. and you and you kids will have first dibs on the highly interactive museum. The 23,000 square foot facility will be the Charlotte region’s first-ever children’s museum. and feature nine interactive "theme areas," all based on the idea I CAN. I CAN Explore Underwater, for instance, will let kids captain a submarine and wander through a life-sized coral reef, while I CAN Build lets them try their hand at engineering with bricks and levers. There will also be an outdoor Learning Garden and a puppet theater, featuring the show Salty Critters through Dec. 17 (the main character is Hermie the Hermit Crab). Suburban locals can also look forward to Discovery Place KIDS summer camps, helping kids tackle scientific inquiries disguised as fun summer activities.

It may be mostly child’s play now, but with enough brain-building play over the years, who knows? Some of our Q.C. kids may be White House-bound in a few years…

Categories: Arts + Culture, Revue