Discovery Place Science is a science and technology museum for visitors of all ages located in the Uptown area of Charlotte, North Carolina. Here you can find science come to life through interactive exhibits, an IMAX Dome Theatre, and plenty of educational programming. The Museum first opened in 1981 and underwent an extensive renovation in 2010 that transformed it into the state-of-the-art facility it is today.
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.
The story begins in 1946 with a school teacher named Laura Owens, who had been amassing a collection of live animals and specimens brought to her from community members. She decided her students need a place where they could observe and learn from these things hands on. 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 worked to develop a new Children’s Nature Center. The new museum opened in 1951 and quickly became one of the most popular attractions, with students from across the state visiting.
By the 1970s, it was decided that a hands-on technology and science center would benefit the community, and North Tyron Street was selected as its location. Discovery Place opened its doors in 1981, with a whopping 72,000-square-feet of space.
Large as it was, the facility continued to grow to serve the needs of the community. Additions include space for traveling exhibitions, the IMAX Dome Theatre, and the Carol Grotnes Belk Education and Parking Complex. The 2010 renovation added all-new interactive exhibits and state-of-the-art labs where the public could engage in real world experiments and activities.
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 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. Hands on learning includes activities like Harvesting Bees, check it out in the video below.
In Fall 2010, Discovery Place opened its first Discovery Place Kids Museum in Huntersville, North Carolina. Part of a larger vision to develop other Discovery Place Kids locations across the region, 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.
Cover image by the Discovery Place. Information Courtesy of Wikipedia.