After months of renovations, the Reading Science Center is now open to the public, located at 645 Penn Street in Downtown Reading.
The new science-themed attraction features fun and engaging interactive science and technology experiences for the community, schools, and families.
“After more than three years of planning, we are excited to bring hands-on STEM education to the Reading area,” says Jim Cinelli, founder and board president of the Science Center. “Through the hard work and generosity of many, we have assembled 30 science exhibits and developed numerous educational programs.”
To celebrate the opening of the new facility, Reading Science Center commissioned a mural to be displayed at the entrance by Alvernia University student Josie Basile, “Zero Gravity”.
Exhibits in the 7,000-square-foot space include a cell lab where young scientists can view their own cells under a microscope, a structural engineering table where participants can build a bridge and then test it against a shaky earthquake, and a motion exhibit where segments of track can be selected and combined to explore the science behind roller coaster speed.
Among many other exhibits, the space also includes a classroom where workshops, seminars and group experiments will be held. The center’s exhibits are most appropriate for ages 4-adult.
Part of the Reading Science Center’s mission is to expose the STEM sciences (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to students so that they may become interested in and excited about choosing STEM fields of study. The organization believes that science is for everyone and is dedicated to serving the local community.
“Our central location in downtown Reading makes us accessible to everyone, and we are excited to be a part of the renaissance that is occurring in the city,” says Cinelli. The center plans to provide field trip opportunities to local schools in the future, but is not currently scheduling school events due to Covid-19.
“Through the generous support of individual donors and local foundations, we have been able to secure an ideal location in downtown Reading and will finally open our doors to share these fantastic exhibits,” says Mary Chown, interim executive director of the Reading Science Center.
Chown is a non-profit consultant and former science educator who has been working with Cinelli, the RSC board, and volunteer committees since January 2020 on operations, fundraising, programming, and volunteer engagement.
“We look forward to continued financial support from the local community through individual donations, and we are pursuing additional funding sources through private foundations as well as regional, state and federal grants.”
The 2020 ticket price is $6.00 per person. Children under 2 years old are free. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Visitors are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet while visiting. The Reading Science Center has implemented enhanced cleaning, sanitizing and screening procedures based on CDC guidelines.