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In the News: Science Center Celebrates with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

May 21, 2024

Excerpt from story by Micaela Hood from LehighValleyNews.com

As bright-colored confetti flew in the air, staff from the Da Vinci Science Center cheered as they cut the ribbon before officially opening the doors to the brand new facility.

Moments later, a crowd of about 100 people rushed inside to see what’s inside before the center opens its doors to the public on Wednesday.

Dinosaurs, cute otters

The new science center, located at 815 W. Hamilton St., is nearly twice the size of its former location, and will house the new “Dinos Alive” exhibition, along with an area, dubbed the Lehigh Watershed, where visitors can meet four North American river otters.

Starting in mid-June, students, kindergarten through eight-grade, can attend a summer camp, where they can learn about the interactive rooms filled with several touch screens and spaces to design aircraft and other creative endeavors.

On Tuesday, officials said the facility is expected to attract 400,000 visitors per year.

Excitement for STREAM

At the grand opening bash, attendees were treated to entertainment by students from the Dieruff High School Band and Freedom High School Fife and Drum Corps.

As a pair of bird mascots posed for selfies, they took turns dancing with members of the Interlace Cultural y Desarrollo Integral Mexicano Dance Troupe, who wowed the crowd with their traditional folk ballet moves.

Later in the ceremony, elected officials touched on the importance of the facility to youth in the region — specifically in Allentown, the third-largest city in the state.

Allentown Schools Superintendent Carol Birks beamed as she spoke about the new ASD STREAM Academy, a new school located inside the science center.

STREAM stands for Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

Beginning in the fall, Central Elementary School students in kindergarten through second grade will spend one full school day each week at Da Vinci. Students in third through fifth grades will have regular visits in addition to hands-on STREAM experiences at Central Elementary at 829 W. Turner St.

“Just think being in high school, you’re in 14-years-old and you get to have these types of experiences and strength that set the stage for your future life,” Birks said.

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