A gift from AccuWeather founder and CEO Joel Myers will help Discovery Space in State College address financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the interactive children’s science center announced.
Part of the gift will be used to create a world-class weather exhibit designed for pre-K through 6th grade students, which Myers said he hopes will be replicated by other children’s science museums around the country.
Discovery Space did not disclose the amount of the gift but described it in a news release as ‘generous.’
AccuWeather, which is headquartered in Ferguson Township, and Discovery Space, 1224 N. Atherton St., have partnered since the science center opened in 2011, when one of its first exhibits was a green screen display using AccuWeather technology. It has been one of the center’s most popular exhibits over the years, according to Discovery Space.
“I’m thrilled to fund this valued community institution,” said Myers. “Of course, we want to help children better understand weather concepts and technology. But perhaps even more important is our mission to inspire their interest in the sciences. I’m confident the ongoing partnership of AccuWeather and Discovery Space will advance regional science education for years to come.”
Myers added that he hopes the gift will inspire other area business leaders ‘to support Discovery Space and recognize it as a community asset that local families embrace as both an educational gem and community touchstone.’
The new interactive exhibit will highlight how weather impacts every aspect of daily life.
‘With the assistance of a renowned exhibit designer and using the vast resources and data provided by AccuWeather, this exhibit promises to educate and delight the entire family,’ the release said.
It will be developed over the next four to six months and upon completion will be a centerpiece exhibit that is expected to attract visitors from across the region, according to Discovery Space.
‘This donation is the bright spot in an otherwise challenging year,” Michele Crowl, executive director of Discovery Space, said. “Unfortunately, due to COVID, we had to temporarily close in March. We’re still doing some programs remotely, but we know kids love to be hands-on with our exhibits. This is a huge opportunity to upgrade our exhibit space and help us continue our mission of sparking kids’ curiosity. We couldn’t be more grateful to Dr. Myers for his contribution.”
While enduring temporary closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Discovery Space has been providing online science educational experiences as it plans for reopening. The center’s leaders also continue to seek support from the community and hope Myers’ gift will be a model for more regional science companies and other businesses to fund exhibits.
In addition to the partnership with Discovery Space, Myers and AccuWeather have science, technology, education, arts and math, including the donation of Chromebooks to students, hosting summer camp tours and the launch of AccuWeather School and AccuWeather Camp online programs for children and adults stuck at home because of the pandemic.
AccuWeather founder and CEO Joel Myers recently provided a gift that will fund a new centerpiece weather exhibit at Discovery Space in State College.