10:00am - 5:00pm There’s always more to discover!
Over five years ago, The Discovery was the first in the nation to partner with the National Museum of American History to bring Spark!Lab Smithsonian to Northern Nevada. The success of Spark!Lab Smithsonian has been so well received that four additional locations across the United States have been added to the Spark!Lab National Network since 2012.
The Discovery is proud to have been instrumental in the expansion of Spark!Lab and we plan to continue our success in the coming years. Since Spark!Lab made its debut at The Discovery, we have inspired children, families, and adults of all ages to invent and innovate through hands-on, informal activities, including a digital patent office, launching a Scratch Code Challenge in partnership with Microsoft, “Invent a Birdhouse,” “Invent a Language,” the Jacob’s Ladder, Cubelets (mini-robots with coding capabilities), “makey” boards, snap circuits, and more.
Spark!Lab has also featured local inventors and their prototypes, such as Joey Mares’ “Peep No More,” stories about the successes and failures of well-known inventions like the Super Soaker, and inspiring mentions about young inventors around the world.
These exciting developments in Spark!Lab Smithsonian at The Discovery have earned recognition from Tricia Edwards, Education Specialist for the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. This is what she had to say recently about her experience with The Discovery:
“The Discovery’s Spark!Lab team readily shares ideas and insights with other Network members, often using their experience to help Spark!Lab peer sites solve problems, address challenges, and find creative ways to present activities and information to visitors. The Lemelson Center values The Discovery as a leading member of the Spark!Lab National Network, and looks forward to working with them to grow and enhance the Spark!Lab experience at The Discovery and beyond.”
In September, The Discovery’s Spark!Lab Coordinator and Exhibits Developer refurbished and replaced several elements in Spark!Lab to make the space more interactive and accessible for our visitors.
On October 1st, The Discovery opened a new-and-improved Spark!Lab Smithsonian to the public. The reopening includes some very exciting additions, such as mobile technology carts that house laptops for visitors to utilize in designing their inventions for 3D printing and creating computer-designed objects; themed exhibits that highlight different areas of innovation, including women’s contributions to invention, innovations in robotics, pop culture and invention; and more!
The Discovery will also be hosting monthly “Tech!Night” events beginning this December in Spark!Lab. Tech!Nights will be held exclusively on Wednesday nights when museum admission is half price. Programming will include a variety of hands-on experiences, such as designing video games using Scratch, or learning about technologies of the past like the Tesla Coil and Van de Graff Generator. Stayed tuned to our calendar of events to learn more!
Overall, a new-and-improved Spark!Lab Smithsonian will help The Discovery reach more people in more ways. We will continue to showcase the inventions process from start to finish, and add more immersive, hands-on activities to inspire even more of our visitors to think big and invent something new.
Ongoing support for Spark!Lab Smithsonian at The Discovery generously provided by Dorothy Lemelson.