A lifelong love of learning, as well as an appreciation of the world and our place in it, is fostered at the Discovery Center of Springfield in Springfield, Missouri. It is a hands-on, interactive museum dedicated to enlightening children and adults with a longstanding passion for learning and an acknowledgement of the world and our place in it. When a group of local community members led by the Springfield Junior League initiated a preliminary study for a children’s practical experience museum project for near Springfield and the surrounding Ozark region in the late 1980s, the museum was born.
As a result of the study, it was determined that children’s curiosity and creativity, confidence, communication, interaction, and interpretative abilities could all be enhanced through the usage of a hands-on museum environment. They anticipated that the prospective displays and programs that may be established would appeal to learners of all ages and stages. A focus would be placed on nurturing the personal learning style of children and families with the intention of exciting and engaging visitors on a variety of educational topics with the goal of inspiring a love of learning in children so that they have a more beneficial result in their academic and longstanding pursuits.
The Discovery Center of Springfield was officially established in 1991. During the next six years, the volunteer board of directors and other committed community volunteers planned the acquisition and refurbishment of the facility, the development of exhibits and programs, and the operation of the business itself. Since its inception in January 1998, the DCS has grown and expanded its offerings, including a large variety of activities and exhibits. The success of this regional institution has been attributed to the efforts of many people working together. Additionally, it is vital that the DCS collaborates with other organizations, individuals, foundations, and enterprises in order to fulfill their unique objectives.
The DCS has established itself as a regional leader in providing students with distinctive and engaging educational opportunities. Following the completion of the master planning process in 2000, they felt that it was time to begin planning for future growth and expansion. Building enlargement with additional exhibits totaling 30,000 square feet and certified as LEED Gold was completed in September 2006, and the DCS celebrated the occasion. As a result of this enlargement and the educational messages that can be found throughout the structure, a significant environmental sustainability movement has sprung up around it in this area.