Fort Discovery

Interactive science center to go

08/23/2010
teaching through travel

Most people may find it interesting that Augusta, Georgia plays host to the National Science Center (NSC). The NSC is an educational organization created under Congressional authority with Public Law 99-145 in 1985, amended by the 1996 Defense Authorization Act. The NSC is a partnership between the U.S. Army and a not-for-profit corporation with a mission to support improved math and science education and technological literacy in the nation, through interactive exhibits and educational programs. image

The unique partnership opened Fort Discovery in April 1997, with over 250 participatory, interactive exhibits of math, science, and technology (STEM). This world-class science center located in downtown Augusta on the Riverwalk, serves as the NSC’s national headquarters for education outreach programs that extend across the country.

Fort Discovery is a 128,000 square foot interactive science center that serves as exhibit and program space. Among some of the popular features are a high definition theater, state-of –the art classrooms, a Teacher Resource Center, distance learning centers for both Georgia and National Guard Networks, and a restaurant. Fort Discovery is open to the general public on Thursday, Friday and Saturday year round. School groups take advantage of the Center as an extension of their classroom.

As schools across the southeast search for a dynamic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experience they frequently choose Fort Discovery as their field trip destination. Fort Discovery is an interactive showcase designed to excite students and teachers of all ages. The STEM concepts and principles of math and science are dramatically demonstrated to students through interactive exhibits. A field trip to Fort Discovery can last a few hours, or you can schedule an over-night camp-in, add an educational film or STARLAB planetarium presentation to your visit.

The exhibits, demonstrations, and presentations at Fort Discovery are designed specifically to ignite a sense of wonder as they educate. Innovation is fueled by passion for possibilities, and by bringing science to life, students are able to connect the scientific theories they learn in the classroom to real-life applications. First hand witness of these principles in practice very often erases the intimidating aspects of science study and encourages students to pursue more scientific understanding once they return to school.

Science-to-Go

Appreciating that travel, for many schools, is limited by budget constraints and believing that young minds learn best by doing--especially in the areas of science and math — Fort Discovery provides mobile education tools designed to bring the science center experience to you. Enriching the existing curriculum and engaging young minds outside the classroom through touch, sight and sound, Science-to-Go delivers science demonstrations directly to schools and learning centers.

Science–To-Go provides a menu of programs and topics delivered to the school, all of which are aligned with state and national science education standards. Each presentation is customized for your students based on class-size and grade-level. Our large assembly program includes large-scale, museum-quality exhibits and highly trained demonstrators lead a 50-minute program to students. The program is a combination of demonstrations and hands-on activities that can be presented to groups of up to 150 people. Small-scale museum quality exhibits are also available for classroom demonstration. The Discovery Labs engage classrooms of up to 30 students; nearly thirty topics are available and teachers are encouraged to work with a Fort Discovery representative to select the laboratory that is best suited to their class. Our portable planetarium, the STARLAB, is hugely popular with students as well as a novel and fun way to study the stars.

To schedule a field trip to Fort Discovery or to bring Fort Discovery to your school, please contact Elizabeth Corely at (706)821-0614. Visit our website for more information regarding the labs and other educational outreach available at www.NationalScienceCenter.org
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Issue 18.3 | Winter/Spring 2017

Southeast Education Network

Our Mission: to reinvigorate the spirit of American education