Welcome to Science Forward, designed to connect you with news and insights about science innovation and education from the vantage point of Connecticut’s Science Center.
When the State of Connecticut set out to create new destinations as an economic catalyst for its Capital City, the Science Center was perceived initially as a tourist attraction, and a way to enhance foot traffic downtown. Surrounded by a Convention Center, a new hotel and the revived Riverfront, the Science Center was charged with driving economic activity, drawing tourists, convention-goers and local residents.
While the numbers show that we have delivered on that promise, enlivening downtown and the capital region is only one of the ways the Science Center is contributing to Connecticut’s current health and bright future….
Chemistry of a Vibrant Downtown
It might be easy to think of the Connecticut Science Center as a place for families and kids on field trips – and it is. But that’s only part of the equation. Several times each year, there’s alchemy at work here that transforms the Science Center into an after-hours attraction that catalyzes downtown Hartford and creates an energy that lights up local businesses and an atmosphere for the young professionals that area corporations are hungry to attract.
“Liquid Lounge,” the Science Center’s quarterly party for the age 21+ crowd, was named the Hartford Advocate’s “Best Dance Night/Event” in 2012. Drawing between 1,500 and 2,400 to each edition, Liquid Lounge offers live music…
No matter what type of organization you’re in, metrics is a hot topic. Businesses live and die by ROI (return on investment). And in government offices, RBA (results-based accountability) has become a key term.
At the Connecticut Science Center, we measure everything. We even employ a Ph.D. as a full-time evaluator to measure the effectiveness of our programs. This probably isn’t surprising in an organization dedicated to scientific principles…
The Year Ahead
With more than 150 hands-on exhibits, it would take many visits to the Science Center before you could experience everything. But scientists are by nature an inquisitive bunch, always looking for new areas to explore. So we have an entire exhibit gallery dedicated to topic-specific, interactive displays that are all-new three times each year.