Sci-Tech Discovery Center planning online, in-person summer programming

Sci-Tech Discovery Center has not yet set a date for when it will reopen to the public. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sci-Tech Discovery Center has not yet set a date for when it will reopen to the public. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)

Sci-Tech Discovery Center has not yet set a date for when it will reopen to the public. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Sci-Tech Discovery Center will host in-person summer camps beginning June 15. (Elizabeth Uclés/Community Impact Newspaper)
Sci-Tech Discovery Center has a summer full of programming planned but no opening date yet for its museum to welcome the general public.

While the museum has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sci-Tech has offered free online programming, such as its Preschool Science Time and monthly webinars aimed at families.

“We just want to make sure that we're still engaging with our regular folks and giving them content to keep them active,” said Sloane Pielli, director of Sci-Tech Discovery Center’s Education Department.

Pielli said Sci-Tech’s online Mini-MAKER design challenges have garnered a lot of attention from viewers.

“[Families] learn what the challenge is, and they go off for the rest of the week to try out the challenge at whatever pace works for them,” Pielli said. “And they can start sending us submissions of pictures or videos of whatever it is they've created in that design challenge. Then we show that off on our social media.”


She said those regular classes and webinars will wrap up at the end of June, so staff members can pivot toward planned outreach programs.

“We will still create content in the form of videos and activities that people can go to anytime they want,” Pielli said. “But as far as the live online classes that we've been doing, those will stop.”

She explained that programming usually ends in the summer because Sci-Tech needs the classroom space. This year it is ending because staff members will be going out in the community to spread knowledge on science, technology, engineering and math.

“We are taking our mobile STEM programming to summer schools, Montessori schools, a lot of our typical summer clients,” Pielli said. “We are not allowing them to come to us, which is something that they would normally do on a field trip.”

She said the museum has received a lot of interest from local groups about hosting an event in person.

“They're not as interested in the virtual [events],” Pielli said. “I think the kids have been staring at a screen long enough.”

Sci-Tech plans to reassess its plans after the July 4 holiday, Pielli said, to determine when the museum will reopen. She said the city of Frisco recently reopened the museum’s building to staff members ahead of the upcoming children's summer camps.

Those in-person camps will begin June 15 with reduced class sizes to allow for social distancing.

“We've been building in to the curriculum with the kids' discussions about germ science and the importance of washing hands,” Pielli said. “We have activities and games that we can play to get the kids into the habit of always making sure that they're being safe when they're in the classroom.”

The museum will also be limiting the number of staff members working during those camps, so there are no more than 50 people in the building at once, Pielli said. There will also be increased cleanings of the facility, and staff members will be wearing masks, she said.

“We're restructuring how the kids do their hands-on activities,” Pielli said. “We still want it to be hands on. We're just making sure that we're not having a lot of high-touch, high-contact things during the day.”
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is the senior reporter for the Plano and Richardson editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


MOST RECENT

Spenga is now open in Frisco. (Courtesy Spenga)
Spenga fitness studio opens Frisco location

The fitness concept focuses on cardio, high-intensity interval training and flexibility exercises in one-hour sessions.

Scott Palmer administers a COVID-19 vaccine shot to a Roanoke police officer. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Vaccination hubs open in Plano, McKinney Fire Dept. and more DFW-area news

Read the top stories from the past week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

A pharmacy employee prepares a COVID-19 vaccine dose at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. (Courtesy Baylor Scott & White Health)
Baylor Scott & White Health opens COVID-19 vaccine registration for Phase 1B in North Texas

Baylor Scott & White Health has begun contacting patients who qualify under Phase 1B to schedule them for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Grizzly Burger House's menu includes the Hawaiian cheeseburger and more. (Courtesy Grizzly Burger House)
Grizzly Burger opens in Richardson and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

In addition to vaccine hubs, there are also smaller community vaccine providers throughout Texas, such as pharmacies, that may also have the vaccine available. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
EXPLAINED: When, where and how Texans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

As Texas is still in the early stages of rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine, many Texans are still unsure about where, when and how they can get inoculated.

Frisco City Council on Jan. 19 approved project and financial plans for the city’s sixth tax incremental reinvestment zone. (Matt Payne/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco council approves project, finance plans for Hall Office Park tax reinvestment zone

The city of Frisco is moving forward with plans to build out infrastructure around Hall Office Park.

Chicken-fried steak and eggs ($11.99) are served with hash browns and Texas toast. (Courtesy The Cottage)
The Cottage eatery opens in Roanoke and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Low T Center, which focuses on addressing underlying causes of men's health issues, is set to open in February. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Low T Center to open new Frisco location

Low T Center, a men’s health care clinic, is expected to open in February

Sushi Box is set to open in west Frisco sometime in early summer 2021. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Sushi Box coming to west Frisco in summer 2021

A new sushi joint is coming to west Frisco in summer 2021, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

Presidium at Edgestone, which opened in summer 2020, recently completed its final phases of construction. (Courtesy Presidium at Edgestone)
Presidium at Edgestone active-adult luxury community now open in Frisco

Construction has finished on Presidium at Edgestone, Frisco’s first luxury community for active adults.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

Volunteers prepare care packages for those found unsheltered and facing homelessness on the night of the point-in-time count in 2019. (Courtesy Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance)
Annual homelessness count adapted to answer questions brought on by pandemic in Collin, Dallas counties

The point-in-time count in Collin and Dallas counties will not look like it has in recent years, when upward of 1,000 volunteers would canvas the streets to get an accurate count of the number of unsheltered residents facing homelessness.