H/Mission and History

Mission and History

Our Mission

To bring science to life and lives to science

Vision Statement

To be a 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, art, and mathematics (STEAM) education throughout the area
  • Inspiring an outstanding 21st century workforce
  • Contributing to social and economic vitality

The Da Vinci Science Center’s roots were planted in 1992 when Lehigh University in Bethlehem formed the Science Model Area Resource Team (SMART) to provide interactive science experiences for local students. The SMART Center left Lehigh to become an independent non-profit in 1999. In the fall of 2005, the Science Center moved to its current 29,000-square-foot facility in Allentown and has become a major attraction with exhibits and programs that make science fun and accessible for learners of all ages.

Leonardo da Vinci envisioned “Il Cavallo” in the 15th century, but war and circumstance prevented him from completing his masterpiece. Through the non-profit Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, Inc., the late Charles C. Dent and then his nephew Peter C. Dent actualized Leonardo’s vision unveiling a 24-foot bronze horse statue in Milan, Italy, on Sept. 10, 1999, before a global audience. The current Science Center took shape in 2003 with the merger of the Discovery Center of Science and Technology and Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, Inc.

Da Vinci Science Center Digital Time Capsule

On Sept. 10, 2019, in honor of bringing science to life and lives to science since 1999, our employees, volunteers, supporters, and friends submitted their favorite ‘Da Vinci Moment’ to create Da Vinci Science Center’s first ever digital time capsule.