Discovery Center of Springfield, Springfield

4.4
#3 of 12 in Museums in Springfield
Science Museum · Museum
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The Discovery Center of Springfield (DCS) in Springfield, Missouri, is an interactive, hands-on science center dedicated to inspiring curiosity and a life-long love of learning through memorable and engaging hands-on experiences in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) In December 2021, inaugural grand prize winner of the Center for Education Reform and media partner Forbes STOP Award. The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote about the museum that became a school winning the $1 million award.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Discovery Center remained open and delivered on their mission by providing emergency, licensed childcare for the families of healthcare workers and first responders. DCS provided over 200,000 hours of free childcare and over 50,000 free meals and snacks.

Its history goes back to the late 1980s when a group of community volunteers led by the junior league of Springfield began a feasibility study for a children's hands-on museum project for Springfield and the Ozark region. It was determined that a hands-on museum could provide a unique learning environment that would help cultivate children's curiosity and imagination, confidence, communication, interaction and interpretive skills. They believed the potential exhibits and programs developed could appeal to all ages and stages of learners. Individual learning styles of children and families would be nurtured with the intent to excite and engage visitors on various educational topics with the goal to inspire a love of learning to empower children to have a more positive outcome in their academic and lifelong pursuits.

In 1991 Discovery Center of Springfield was incorporated. Over the next six years the volunteer board of directors and other committed community volunteers planned the building purchase and renovation, exhibits and program development and business operation. Since its opening in January 1998, the DCS has developed and added a great number of programs and exhibits. Collaboration has been the key to the success of this regional facility. Likewise, it is critical that the DCS partners with other agencies, individuals, foundations and businesses to achieve their respective goals. The DCS has established itself as a leader in the region of unique and engaging educational experiences. In 2000, they completed a master plan process and determined it was time to begin planning for expansion. In September 2006 DCS celebrated the opening of a new 30,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold certified building expansion with additional exhibits. This expansion and the educational messages evident throughout the building have led the way to an impressive environmental sustainability movement in this area.
A visit to Discovery Center of Springfield represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Springfield trip itinerary app to plot your vacation.
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Discovery Center of Springfield reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
201 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Lots of variety. VERY interactive. Very relevant and educational in a way that will stick with kids to reinforce what they learn in school. This is truly a museum that is great for adults, teens... 
    Lots of variety. VERY interactive. Very relevant and educational in a way that will stick with kids to reinforce what they learn in school. This is truly a museum that is great for adults, teens...  more »
  • What a great place! This is an interactive “museum” that adults and children of all ages will enjoy. (Of course the teens probably won’t want to let on that they’re having a good time. 😊) there... 
    What a great place! This is an interactive “museum” that adults and children of all ages will enjoy. (Of course the teens probably won’t want to let on that they’re having a good time. 😊) there...  more »
Google
  • When I tell you this place is amazing 👏 I took my 11 YO son and thought he'd be bored but we went to check it out as part of a school discount night and he had the best time. He actually wanted to stop and read every little tidbit of knowledge in this building (and there is a lot). The interactive fun goes on and on. It's hard to pick a favorite activity honestly, everything was so top notch. Only downside is we didn't get to see the Tesla coil in action. Maybe next time!
  • Really fun and educational, did mention fun... Seeing the look on the kids faces are well worth the price of entry. Its fun for all ages though! They offer memberships too.

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