The Kentucky Science Center encourages people of all ages to do science in engaging, educational, and entertaining ways to inspire a lifetime of learning.
Science Matters! Science Literacy empowers society. Scientifically literate individuals are those best suited to excel in the 21st Century. Everyone is curious, and that innate curiosity can flourish when liberated. At the Kentucky Science Center, science matters because we make it personal, fun, participatory and relevant. We are ambassadors of scientific values.
About Kentucky Science Center
The Kentucky Science Center has a rich history, from its founding as a cabinet of curiosities in the Public Library System of Kentucky in 1871 to its current status as the region’s leading resource for informal science education. Boasting at one time little more than an Egyptian mummy and a 16,000 piece mineral collection, the Kentucky Science Center is now the largest hands-on science center in Kentucky, with three floors of interactive exhibits and experiences, a four-story theater, teaching laboratories, educational programs and distance learning capabilities. In 2002, the Louisville Science Center was designated the State Science Center of Kentucky by the Kentucky General Assembly. This new designation signified the meaningful history and demonstrated connection that the Science Center had established over many years with constituents and stakeholders from across the Commonwealth and the region. On September 1, 2012, the Science Center’s name officially changed to the Kentucky Science Center. The new Kentucky Science Center name underscored the Science Center’s active work to provide informal science, technology, engineering and math education to all citizens across the Commonwealth. The Kentucky Science Center features interactive exhibits and engaging programs for children, families and adults – reaching all audiences through its mission to DO SCIENCE in ways that are engaging, educational and entertaining to inspire a lifetime of learning.
Hands-On Science Exploration
A 1992 strategic plan and capital campaign centered on building permanent exhibits and creating an interpretive infrastructure that remains strong today. Permanent exhibits brought on line at that time include:
The World We Create – which opened in 1997 – explores the fields of chemistry, physics, engineering, telecommunications, and manufacturing and their impact on everyday life. Traveling versions of The World We Create have appeared in museums across the world.
KidZone – a special hands-on area for children seven and younger, which was renovated in 1998. The exhibit allows children to explore the world brought down to their size, including an airplane, an ambulance, mass-transit bus, a lunar model and a construction area. The Splash! water play area, which opened in February 2009, allows children to manipulate pipes and tubing to experiment with water flow.
The World Within Us – which opened in 2001. The exhibit features user-friendly, fact-based information to help visitors learn about good health, including a journey inside the systems of the body, healthy living decisions, and accomplishments and careers of regional medical researchers.
The World Around Us – the final phase of our permanent exhibits plan, opened in September of 2005. In this 8,000 square-foot natural and earth sciences exhibit, visitors explore their connections to the world, discovering that we all have an impact on the world around us – we all leave our ecological footprints. The Discovery Gallery re-introduces the public to historic Science Center favorites such as the mummy and polar bears. Another initiative, this time to boost capacity for serving students in school enrichment and out-of-school time, was undertaken in 2009 with the opening of the Science Education Wing. This space added four science workshop labs equipped for hands-on participation, to be used for student workshops, teacher training, parent mentoring, and educational camps. The Science Education Wing is housed at 745 W. Main, an adjacent building that the city of Louisville purchased for the Science Center’s expansion. The Kentucky Science Center is committed to expanding its capacity as a leader in science, math, technology and engineering. Improved science literacy will impact our community by encouraging scientific inquiry skills that are critical to workforce development and future innovation. Creative thinking, effective problem solving, open mindedness, and the encouragement of curiosity allow us to explore the world with fresh eyes. The hallmarks of good science should be embraced by everyone and the Kentucky Science Center will continue to work to make science personal, fun, participatory and relevant for our community, state and region for generations to come. Science matters, and the Kentucky Science Center will continue to work to encourage hands-on science investigation that harnesses curiosity and prepares our future leaders for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century.
Today’s Platform… Science Matters.
Already recognized as a leader in inquiry-based learning, the Kentucky Science Center is advancing a science literacy campaign to encourage people of all ages to explore science in everyday life. Science literacy empowers individuals and communities to ask questions, think creatively, solve problems and work toward a better quality of life for all.Designated as the “State Science Center of Kentucky,” we are building on our long tradition of serving as a powerhouse regional and statewide asset to becoming a force and movement in the community. We are committed to expanding our capacity as a leader in science, math, engineering and technology (STEM)-skills that are critical to workforce development and innovation, preparing our future leaders to meet the opportunities and face the challenges of the 21st century.We exude a “We Do Science” philosophy – taking every opportunity to make interesting and fun science connections with the community. Our message is simple: Do Science. Play, tinker, explore, collaborate. Test, try, experiment, goof up and try again. We don’t care if you get the right answers – the first time or ever. We want you to be endlessly curious, and always wonder about the world around you. We serve as a neutral place to talk about science issues that can often be evocative, and we are here to encourage creative, open-minded thinking about those issues.In recent years we have enhanced our programmatic offerings and partnerships, which today include a vast array of experiences for every audience – very young children, school age students during and out-of-school, teens, teachers and instructional leaders, parents, young professionals and adults. Some examples include: Family Science Drop-In Events, an adult dialogue series on topical science issues, a broad array of School’s Out Science Camps, mobile outreach and enrichment programs, programming for early learners and their caregivers, a middle school monthly science club, a maker-space for tinkering and inventing, single day science “summit” for teenagers, family camps at local parks, science festivals, overnights and so much more. We are programming actively on-site at our flagship facility in Louisvilleâ€¦and we are taking our show on the road.Thus the title of our new five-year strategic plan: UNBRIDLED SCIENCE. The intent of this plan is to evolve and refine our presence around the state. We are striving to build and expand business and impact, increasing science literacy across the Commonwealth and Southern Indiana, inspiring curiosity and allowing individuals of all ages to embrace the wonder of science.
Board of Directors
For a current list of Kentucky Science Center Board of Directors click here
Statement of Accountability