Discovery Science Place CEO Phil Lindsey said there are plenty of events and changes to keep patrons and newcomers returning to the science place throughout the year.
“There are a lot of different activities coming,” he said. “We want to provide new things every year to keep drawing people and keep them excited about returning.”
Lindsey said three exhibitions/events in March marks the kick-off to a busy 2013.
A 3,000-square-foot (the largest exhibit hosted by Discovery Science Place) interactive maze to teach children about butterflies from caterpillar to butterfly and their role in nature is on display now through May 5. It also includes “flutter facts,” such as there are 18,000 species of butterflies and 147,000 species of butterflies.
The maze was co-developed by the Natural History Museum of London.
The place's annual Spring Break Camps 2013 for kindergarten through fifth-graders kicks off Monday. A week's worth of activities will be available for ages kindergarten through second grade and third- through fifth-graders Monday through Friday.
Anita Trevino-Leon, educational programs director, said the camps will focus on bugs and gardens, such as exploring the relationship between native plants, their pollinators and pests and including controlled experiments.
Lindsey said the first Tyler Mini-maker Fair will be one of the biggest events of the year on March 23.
The fair will create an opportunity for Tyler to become a regional gathering place for makers to show their handiwork and teach children and adults do-it-yourself engineering creativity.
Lindsey said Tyler will be one of 60 locations across the nation to hold maker fairs in 2013. He expects about 30, mostly local makers, and others from Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Exhibits will include creations from area colleges, including Tyler Junior College, The University of Texas at Tyler and Letourneau University, Lindsey said. Creations, including solar cars and robots, will be on display while do-it-yourself clinics teach attendees how to solder, weld and work with electronics.
“Exhibits will take over the entire building and the parking lot,” Lindsey said. “It's going to be a monster.”
The Discovery Science Place also is working on a collaborative exhibition with Tyler Junior College called Jurassic Summer. The exhibition will focus on dinosaurs. TJC will display fossils while the Discovery Science Place will display animatronics dinosaurs.
Lindsey said the place is working with the Smithsonian and local sponsors to create new exhibitions and programs to be unveiled later in the year. The focus is bringing engaging exhibitions to Tyler and East Texas, Lindsey said.
“People are responding to the message that there is a natural lacking in science education,” he said. Changing that will be a “long, long process, but we can change quickly here and we want to be a resource for Tyler.”
For more information about the butterfly exhibit, Spring Break Camp 2013, the mini-maker fair and other events, call the Discovery Science Place at 903-533-8011 or visit the website at www.discoveryscienceplace.org.