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Discovery Science Place


The 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 2003.
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.

DSP 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.

DSP 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.

Two 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.

With 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.

“There 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 Place

Exhibit Materials
Exhibit Materials

Discovery Science Place Website


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