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Downtown Rotary ‘Adopts’ Element to Support Discovery Space

by on March 29, 2018 4:30 AM

Science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM, may not be something most kids think about often, but Discovery Space is committed to bringing STEM to State College in the most fun and imaginative ways possible.

Local donors feel equally as passionate about Discovery Space’s mission — Downtown State College Rotary Club being one of them.

The Rotary Club recently celebrated the “adoption” of an element on the center’s Essential Elements periodic table display. Rotarians and Discovery Space staff gathered at the new North Atherton Street location to unveil palladium, an element given to the club for its unwavering support.

The Essential Elements display is a science-themed way to honor contributors who donated $1,000 or more to the center, allowing donors the opportunity to adopt an element and inscribe it with a brief message.

“We are very supportive of youth programs as an organization and we especially think programs that make STEM more prevalent in kids’ lives are important,” Rotary president Jason Brown said. “It’s also really great to have STEM exposure like this for young women who don’t have as much exposure to it as young men do.”

Discovery Space has expanded significantly since it first opened in 2011 and recently moved to its new location to accommodate such growth. The center is now much bigger and recent installments include the beehive play area, the math corner and the weather exhibit. There is also talk of plans to build a T. Rex skeleton outside of the center.

“Without community support, we would not be here,” said Michele Crowl, the science center’s executive director. “Rotary Club was an early supporter of Discovery Space, and we’re grateful that they have continued to be generous.”

Previous Rotary president Tracy Sepich said that Rotary brings the community together, so it was only fitting to choose palladium.

“It’s a very valuable precious metal in the center of the periodic table and I thought it shows the true value of our work in the community,” Sepich said.

The element is inscribed with Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self,” and Sepich hopes this will give anyone who walks by the display an idea of what Rotary is about.

“We love to support Discovery Space and we love that they help us with our events as well,” Sepich said. “It’s really enjoyable to work with them.”

Brown said that the center is educational, fun and a great asset to the community. He thanked his fellow Rotarians for making the donation possible and the center for putting them up on the display.

“I can’t wait to see what happens here at the Discovery Space,” Brown said. “I want to thank all the Rotarians who helped grow and support Discovery Space’s efforts; it’s a wonderful environment.”

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