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Home > Posts, News, & Press Releases > Lehigh Valley Community Celebrates Opening of Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion in Grand Style
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Lehigh Valley Community Celebrates Opening of Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion in Grand Style

May 23, 2024

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Caroline Scutt, caroline.scutt@davincisciencecenter.org

ALLENTOWN, Pa, May 22, 2024 – Song, dance, art, and of course, science, made for a lively Ribbon Cutting Celebration at the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion on the evening before its May 22nd opening date.

Trustees, staff, elected officials, school board members, donors, corporate partners, and community members came together to celebrate the opening of the new world class science center. The new 67,000 sq. ft. facility in downtown Allentown features over 30,000 square feet of exhibit space where visitors of all ages will be immersed in one-of-a-kind experiences ranging from exploring the inner workings of the human body in the LVHN My Body exhibit to an up-close visit with North American River Otters in the Pocono Ravine presented by Alvin H. Butz.

The new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion’s front entrance is located at 815 W. Hamilton Street in downtown Allentown, close to several parking decks and within walking distance of other attractions.

More than 50 interactive exhibits are showcased in four main galleries: Curiosity Hall, Science in the Making, Lehigh Valley Health Network My Body and Lehigh River Watershed. The lower level of the new science center is home to the Da Vinci STEAM Learning Center, the incubator for onsite and community-based STEAM programming – the integration of the Arts with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

“In addition to being a major attraction for the region, the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion will be a regional center of excellence for STEAM education, and a workforce development partner to help prepare students for careers in high demand fields,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO. “The science center will be a key contributor to the local and regional economy both directly and indirectly by helping to inspire and educate the next generation of engineers, scientists, innovators, and programmers.”

Students from throughout the Lehigh Valley were among several hundred enthusiastic revelers who took over DLP Capital’s Dream Grand Plaza and the “Gear Gardens” in front of the Science Center on Hamilton Street in the heart of downtown Allentown.

The event kicked off with a performance by the ICDI Interlace Cultural y Desarrollo Integral Mexicano de Lehigh Valley dance troupe and featured Dieruff High School Band, Freedom Fife & Drum Corps and a medley of mascots from Lehigh Valley schools and Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ mascot, MeLVin!

The Science Center’s STEAM TEAM invited guests to try their hand at a motorized scribbling contraption and contribute to a community art piece that will be put on display in the Science Center. They also captivated the crowd by using frozen carbon dioxide to create cloud-filled bubbles that floated above the festivities.

The program included remarks by Lin Erickson, CEO and Executive Director and Jack Gross, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Da Vinic Science Center. Speakers were introduced by Rayna Malhotra, a senior at Moravian Academy, who is one of Da Vinci Science Center’s 2024 STEAM Awards recipients. Elected officials highlighted the significant economic and educational impact of the new science center.

“This new science center is a major investment in Allentown that will transform Hamilton Street, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Center City every year. More importantly, this regional education hub will transform the lives of young people in Allentown, helping them dream a new future for our city,” said Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk.

Allentown School District Superintendent, Dr. Carol Birks, emphasized the innovative partnership between the district and the science center, noting that Central Elementary School students were thrilled to be the first guests to experience the new facility, and were looking forward to returning soon and often.

Vince Sorgi, President and CEO of PPL, Inc., Da Vinci Science Center Emeritus Trustee and private capital campaign committee chair, spoke about PPL’s investment as title sponsor and the new facility’s lasting impact. “The exhibit experiences and hands-on classes of the new Da Vinci Science Center will inspire a new generation of creative thinkers and future workforce that will help position the Lehigh Valley region as a hub for STEAM innovation, skills that are desperately needed for the 21st century workforce.”

The formal program concluded with the City of Allentown dedicating the plaza in front of the building for Secretary Pat Browne and his wife, Heather, in recognition of their significant contributions to education for young people and families in the City of Allentown.

Afterwards, the 20-ft ribbon was cut, a rainbow of confetti rained down via drone and streamers flew in the wind as guests made their way into the new science center for a “taste” of all the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion will offer – bringing more science to life and lives to science in downtown Allentown and throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Beyond awe-inspiring exhibit galleries, Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion boasts engaging amenities to enhance the visitor experience. From fully equipped classrooms and cutting-edge laboratories to interactive workshops designed to stimulate creativity, every corner of the facility is infused with opportunities for discovery. And don’t forget the rooftop terrace, where hosting a private event will be as unique as the Science Center itself.

Exhibit details, ticket and membership information can be found at davincisciencecenter.org.

Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion:

A Major Educational and Economic Asset

Unique Facts

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