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10 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.16 LIBA Partner Pages kysciencecenter.org Q: Tell us a little about the history of the Kentucky Science Center. When was it founded and why? A: The Science Center originated as "A Cabinet of Curiosities" within the Public Library System in 1871 with a natural history collection – 16,000-piece mineral collection, eventually an Egyptian mummy – which we still have. The mummy, Tchaenhotep (ThenHotep), is currently displayed in our Discovery Gallery. Actually, it was crushed by a piano in the 1937 flood and not fully restored to the viewing public until 40 years later… is it too on-the-nose to say its been on quite a journey? We moved to our current location at 727 West Main Street nearly 40 years ago, as part of the city's (Louisville's) initiative to re-energize downtown. The Science Center is actually a collection of six restored buildings that date back around 140 years. It was called the Louisville Science Center until 2012, and then it was renamed the Kentucky Science Center to reflect its statewide work in science literacy. I can't say why it was founded then but now our mission is to "encourage people of all ages to do science in engaging, educational, and entertaining ways to inspire a lifetime of learning." Q: Can you tell us about some upcoming events as well as the exhibits at KSC? A: We're continuing our "Socialize with Science" series for adults with "HypotheSIPS" on November 17. This gastronomical experience includes food samplings from local upscale restaurants, spirits from a variety of distilleries and wineries, and discussions about the science behind food and drink pairings. And, of course, adults will have the chance to have fun and enjoy the exhibits, play in the Happy Climber – which they really do. There's a cash bar. We have "School's Out, Science is In – Science Camps," and we really mean it – if the kids are out of school – winter break, In-Service Days for teachers, even snow days – we have camps for Pre-K through 8th grade with fun science themes from coding to "Mysterious Monsters." We just opened Extreme Weather in our 4-story digital theater and we're showing Polar Express next month – I honestly think there is something going on for every age every day here. Of course, more info about tickets, sign-ups, show times, etc. can all be found on our web site, kysciencecenter.org Q: What special activities does KSC have for children? A: A year ago July, we opened Science in Play, on our entire first floor. The exhibit is for young children ages 0-8. It's a progressive experience that allows children to discover science through open-ended and loose-parts play. Their natural curiosity will lead them to have a different experience each time they visit, and parents are encouraged to take the fundamental concepts of learning through play home with them to incorporate into their daily activities. Early-childhood learning has been a big focus for us in recent years and we've become well known for it. We were recently rated one of the 5 best children's museums in the nation. Next month we're opening a traveling version of Science in Play that will set up for 12-week residencies in libraries throughout the state. The idea here is the same – that children learn through playing and we can empower them, their parents, and caregivers to pursue lifelong learning. Q: Why do you like working at the Kentucky Science Center? A: So many reasons. In guest services I get to see the impact we have every day – both the joy on a child's face and knowing they're learning. I know that it works – my parents were Members when I was a kid, I went through camps. And I just like the people I work with. It's important to have a good team that helps you progress and grow and makes you want to come to work every day. Q: Why is it important to the Kentucky Science Center to be a LIBA member and to support Louisville's "Buy Local" campaign? A: Of course there's the opportunity to promote each other. While we have a national presence, we believe museums have a kind of a social contract with a community to serve as a gathering place, almost a responsibility to reflect the character of the community. Without the city's focus on buying local, people wouldn't think of it as their museum. When they feel an ownership they shop in our gift shop, join as members, see a movie – all of which supports our mission and helps grow programming. A Q&A with Jared Sage, Kentucky Science Center Visitor Services Coordinator