Strategic Plan

DSC Strategic Plan

Greater Possibilities

The Da Vinci Science Center – the national award-winning organization that is Open for ExSCIting Possibilities – is an influential regional science center poised at a tipping point that could increase the scale of its operations and its impact radically. The organization has achieved substantial progress regarding its impact, fiscal sustainability, professional talent, brand development, and building of valuable partnerships. At the same time, critical analyses indicate that the Center must increase its physical capacity dramatically in order to actualize its fullest potential.

In exploring greater possibilities for its future, the Da Vinci Science Center seeks to take strategic actions necessary to position itself for a bold expansion that will enable it to present world-class exhibits and learning experiences for nearly one million people living in its surrounding area.

This strategic plan is presented below as it was approved by the Da Vinci Science Center’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 18, 2015.

Mission of the Da Vinci Science Center

To bring science to life and lives to science


To be a visionary leader and partner advancing science learning, quality of life, and economic development in the Lehigh Valley area by:

  • Delivering enjoyable experiences for families and schools that encourage interest in science
  • Providing leadership in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education throughout the area
  • Inspiring an outstanding 21st century workforce
  • Contributing to social and economic vitality

Target Audiences

  • Families and schools with Pre-K-middle school children in the Center’s 16-county service region
  • Students from underrepresented communities
  • Teachers, mentors, schools, and corporations
  • People who want to enjoy science experiences


  • To deliver enjoyable learning experiences for families and schools that encourage interest in science
  • To support STEM education throughout the area
  • To inspire an outstanding 21st century workforce
  • To contribute to social and economic vitality

Strategies and Impacts

See List

Provide playful and engaging hands-on science learning experiences

  • Increased appreciation and understanding of science and more positive attitudes about science

Provide families with quality social experiences

  • Growth in perception that engagement with the Center represents quality time with friends and family

Support excellent STEM education in area schools

  • Stronger science education practices demonstrated by schools and greater science learning and achievement demonstrated by students

Help build a STEM talent pipeline

  • More positive student attitudes about STEM and greater student interest in STEM careers

Make science accessible

  • Greater engagement in hands-on science learning by underrepresented students from communities with greatest needs

Attract large numbers of visitors from the Lehigh Valley area and beyond

  • Additional dollars spent by visitors infused into the area’s economy

Strategic Dimensions

See List

Impact and Influence

  • Expand leadership in STEM education
  • Increase the number of people served
  • Strengthen educational capacity
  • Invest in Pre-K educational experiences
  • Benchmark and track success of educational efforts

Growth and Stewardship

  • Launch a capital campaign to increase the Center’s physical capacity
  • Continue generation of positive net income
  • Expand public and private partnerships that produce financial support for STEM education
  • Increase support from individuals
  • Broaden and deepen donor relationships through outreach and stewardship

People Power

  • Recruit the best and brightest professionals
  • Align staffing with organizational structure and invest in staff growth
  • Expand and restructure the Center’s volunteer program
  • Deepen development of, and engagement with, the Center’s Board of Trustees

Customer Experience

  • Expand the Center’s exhibit space
  • Invest in exhibits and promote active, prolonged engagement
  • Expand auxiliary businesses
  • Continue expansion of outreach programs
  • Invest in staff training and systems

Strategic Partnerships

  • Support STEM workforce development through partnerships with STEM businesses and other organizations
  • Increase sponsorships and enhance their value
  • Reach more diverse audiences through partnerships

Brand and Market Development

  • Strengthen understanding of the Center’s identity, marketing plan, and strategies
  • Use playfulness to differentiate the Center for consumers
  • Attract larger audiences of Pre-K families
  • Refine the integration of Leonardo into the Center’s brand

About the Plan

The Da Vinci Science Center’s strategic plan for 2016-2019 was developed by the organization’s Strategic Planning and Oversight Committee (SPOC) – a committee comprised of members of its Board of Trustees and its staff Leadership Team.

The 2016-2019 Strategic Plan evolved from a data-driven review of the organization’s performance with respect to its 2011-2015 Strategic Plan. The planning process also was informed by a comprehensive study produced by White Oak Associates – an internationally-prominent museum planning firm based in Marblehead, Mass. The White Oak study reflected Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) data projecting that the Lehigh Valley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of more than 827,000 people will add more than 226,000 people by the year 2040.
Development of the Da Vinci Science Center’s 2016-2019 Strategic Plan was supported by a grant from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Print overview of 2016-2019 Strategic Plan (.pdf)

Contact @DSC: Lin Erickson, 484.664.1002, Ext. 103

Partners in Bringing Science to Life


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