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The Da Vinci Science Center announced today that it set a new participation record during its fiscal year ending June 30, 2015 – bringing science to life for a total of 127,720 people.
The Center’s total participation increased 3.4 percent from its 2014 fiscal year. Its previous year-end high was set during its 2013 fiscal year, during which it had 125,820 participants. The 2015 fiscal year also was the third straight year in which the Center had more than 120,000 participants.
Da Vinci Science Center participation data includes visitation to its exhibit floor by ticket buyers and members, participation in programs and events at the Center and at community locations, and student participation in mentoring by Center employees and volunteers.
The number of toddlers ages 0-3 visiting the Center increased by more than 36 percent over its total in the 2014 fiscal year while participation in the Center’s Outreach Programs totaled 30,083 people and increased by more than 22 percent. Part of that outreach increase reflects students in Allentown, Pa., who were mentored by Center employees and volunteers through the STEM mentoring coalition that it founded in 2014. The coalition’s work was funded primarily during the 2015 fiscal year from a grand prize grant from a national US2020 City Competition held by the nonprofit organization Citizen Schools. The coalition was renamed the STEM Valley Mentoring Coalition on July 1, 2015, and its reach has been expanded to include Bethlehem, Pa., and Easton, Pa., with support from the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation.
“The most important result of the Da Vinci Science Center’s performance during the 2015 fiscal year, as it is every year, is the impact the Center makes on the young people in our area – the future scientists, engineers, innovators, and leaders who will shape the development of the greater Lehigh Valley region for decades to come,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of the Da Vinci Science Center. “Throughout the year, we have been discussing visions for our future, and our ability to increase our impact and produce sustained success emboldens us as we look forward.”
The Da Vinci Science Center closed the 2015 fiscal year with positive momentum as its exhibit floor visitation in June 2015 rose 20.5 percent from the previous June. The Center attributes that success to the popularity of its current feature exhibition National Geographic Presents: Earth Explorers, Erickson said.
A total of 22,429 students in grades Pre-K-12 participated in school field trips to the Center in its 2015 year, an increase of 5.4 percent over the previous year. The Center also set a new single-day visitation record with 1,345 visitors during its Ice Cream Wars 7.0 event on Jan. 10, 2015.