Science Place is a hands-on science museum founded in
1993. DSP has two exhibit halls. Programs include group
tours, camp-ins, discovery Saturdays, STARLAB, Toddler
Time, Girls at the Center, Family Free Days, Light &
Color, the Power of Air, and birthday parties. DSP is
scheduled to collaborate with Tyler Independent School
District at teacher professional development workshops
at Fort Worth’s Texas Center for Inquiry in summer
Discovery Science Place is well established in its community
and has the largest budget and staff of the three TexNET
local partners. However, the museum is looking to renew
its collections and develop resources.
wants to provide teachers and school groups with resources
addressing the new Texas Assessment of Knowledge and
Skills exams. Only 15% of these exams are devoted to
content while 85% focuses on Texas Essential Knowledge
and Skills (TEKS). TAKS standards require students of
all ages to ask questions and think critically about
scientific phenomena. DSP uses TexNET exhibits, which
have strong ties to TEKS, to improve existing programs
for students and develop new ones. For example, TexNET
workshops at DSP emphasize teaching concepts related
to TEKS from the exhibits through demonstrations, tabletop
activities, and pathways for teachers and students.
has strengths in marketing and development. Responsibility
to fund programs and operations has shifted from staff
to board. This experience will contribute to the “Profile
Building” Institute and will be a strong example
for the other partners.
of TexNET's specialized capacity-building workshops
planned for DSP respond to its specific needs.
· Webcasting Workshop--DSP's new Webcast studio
and T1 line hold great potential for in-house programs
and distance learning.
· Outreach Program Development--Current outreach
topics overlap with the themes of the TexNET exhibit
set on motion. Table-top activities, demonstrations,
and other education materials to augment current programs.
80,000 of the county’s 171,000 residents, Tyler
is the largest city in east Texas. Nearly 60,000 people,
half of them students, from 32 surrounding counties,
visited Discovery Science Place (DSP) in 2001. Of the
Tyler school district’s 16,626 students, 53% are
economically disadvantaged. The students are 36% African
American, 27% Hispanic, and 36% Caucasian.
are lots of opportunities and challenges because we
have a whole population of children that have never
done anything in science besides read the chapter and
answer the questions. The area of hands-on is wide open.”
—Katie Powell, Executive Director, Discovery Science