About the Science Center

The Tampa Bay area took a remarkable step forward in 1959 to meet and expand an interest in science. Forward thinking community members, including co-founders William Guild and Nell Rodgers Croley, founded The Science Center, the first science education facility of its type in the United States! This non-profit and privately owned facility is a 501(c)(3) organization funded through private donations, grants, corporate gifts and donations from people like you.

The Science Center is located on seven acres in west St. Petersburg. Each year the we provide hands-on STEM education and career development to over 6,000 of Pinellas County K-12 students. The Center operates year round and hosts field trips during the school year. A comprehensive day camp and education program keeps children engaged and active in STEM activities during the summer months.

Landmark Highlight Dates:

  • 1959- The Science Center is founded.
  • 1961- Cooperative Classroom Extension Program (CEP) begins with the school system.
  • 1966- Completion of present main building.
  • 1971- The Discovery Center is built. This building houses our planetarium.
  • 1995- Mobile Outreach expands to include adults and "at risk" children.
  • 1996- Discoveries by "African-American Scientists and Inventors" opens.
  • 1997- The Carol Samuels Observatory opened.
  • 1999- Two grand openings. The xeriscaped Gardens and the replica 16th Century Indian Village.
  • 2000- Animal Life Room renovated and Margaret Ewell Dickins Marine Room opens.
  • 2003- The Spirit of Columbia Planetarium opened.
  • 2004- Computer lab with 25 new computers donated by Tech Data.
  • 2006- Dedication of the Environmental Learning Exhibit (wetlands, nature trail and White Gardens).

Our Mission

To inspire, motivate and stimulate innovative thinking in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math, and career development for K-12 students; enhancing their lives through instruction, hands-on, and experiential education delivered through partnerships with schools, corporations, universities, and community.

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