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Ithaca’s Sciencenter capital campaign raises more than $4 million, surpasses goal

Science Center LogoITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca’s Sciencenter raised $4.1 million in its recently completed capital campaign, surpassing its goal of $3.8 million.

The capital campaign, dubbed “Curious. Confident. Inspired.,” will support “expanded” educational programs; the “revitalization” of museum exhibits; increased access for “underserved” audiences; and “sustainability” for the organization through endowment growth, Sciencenter said in a news release issued Monday.  

Greg Galvin and Robin Davisson co-chaired the campaign, the organization said.


“I am in awe of this incredible community and its commitment to empowering our children through science education,” Dean Briere, executive director of Sciencenter, said in the news release. “Thanks to the generosity of money, time, and talent of so many devoted individuals, we can look to the future with confidence that the Sciencenter’s impact will continue to grow in Ithaca and around the world.”

”All of us at the Sciencenter are energized every day by the children who can’t get enough of the new exhibits and programs that this campaign has helped us provide our community.  We are grateful for the vision of each of our donors in making this investment in youth with us,” Charlie Trautmann, director emeritus of the Sciencenter, said in the organization’s news release.

Funding benefits

Since the public launch of the campaign in the summer of 2015, the Sciencenter has “enhanced numerous” exhibit areas, expanded and developed new educational programs, supported “increased” efforts to provide access to “every part of our community,” and undergone facility upgrades. 

Some of the recently completed campaign projects include a new animal room dedicated to the “diverse,” native New York wildlife; an 18-hole science-themed mini-golf course; a “revitalized” tidepool touch tank in the expanded ocean-science gallery; an outdoor playground for children under 5; and a teen STEM lab, that includes a professional media room.

STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The Sciencenter has also extended educational programming for Head Start teachers and families, and created a family-learning area, where Cornell researchers conduct research on early-childhood learning.

In addition, the museum has redoubled efforts to provide access for all through the “Museums for All,” $1 admission program for EBT cardholders, and implemented semi-annual sensory hours for children with sensory-processing disorder.

EBT is short for electronic-benefits transfer.

In the “months and years to come,” Sciencenter has plans for an expanded Get Fit! exhibit gallery; several interactive exhibits focused on climate; and exhibits exploring the science of sound.

Contact Reinhardt at



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