Arizona Science Center
The Arizona Science Center, at 600 East Washington Street in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, is a science museum located in Heritage and Science Park. It was founded in 1984 as the Arizona Museum of Science & Technology in a downtown storefront, Its current building, designed by Antoine Predock, was completed in 1997. Along with daily demonstrations throughout the Center, the Center provides shows in the Dorrance Planetarium and in a five-story, giant screen IMAX Theater. Arizona Science Center, formerly the Arizona Museum of Science & Technology, was conceived in 1980 as a pilot science center by the Junior League of Phoenix. The Science Center opened its doors to the public in 1984 as a small 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) storefront exhibition space located in the parking garage level of the downtown Phoenix Hyatt. The Science Center’s first year of operation saw more than 87,000 visitors. Following sustained demand, construction of the 120,000-square-foot (11,000 m2), Antoine Predock-designed facility was completed in 1997. When the Science Center moved to its present location, Heritage Square was renamed Heritage and Science Park.
Among the museum’s best-known programs is the annual Snow Week. In 2009, the museum reached an agreement with the adjacent, closed Phoenix Museum of History to showcase their collection. As of March 2022, Guy Labine is the museum’s president and CEO. Arizona Science Center’s mission is to inspire, educate and engage curious minds through science. We are building enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and math learning throughout Arizona and beyond to expand our top-quality programming for students, teachers and families. Guided by our Strategic Vision, we are focused on responding to the needs of our community; providing innovative research-based, standards-aligned STEM education programs, and K-12 educator support, and sharing our results with the science center field. Arizona Science Center has been a grant recipient or a partner with a grant recipient on several research/evaluation related projects. Evaluation is a process used to improve the design and function of educational experiences in informal learning environments and to measure progress toward goals.
Research studies are designed to generate findings that will inform the broader field of informal science education. Research studies typically use methods similar to formative and summative evaluation, such as observations, interviews, and surveys with participants; however findings from these studies are often shared more widely to advance informal science education efforts. AzSEF is an annual, statewide science and engineering competition for grades 5-12 and is affiliated with the Society for Science, which partners to organize the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Started in 2008, AzSEF combined several existing fairs from Central and Northern Arizona, as well as an American Indian Fair. Arizona Science Center (ASC) has served as the host and lead organizer of AzSEF since 2014. AzSEF is a perfect fit for the Center’s mission of inspiring, educating and engaging curious minds through science. The International Rules for Pre-college Science Research: Guidelines for Science and Engineering Fairs is published annually to support students doing independent research safely. They are the official rules of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and students competing at an SSP-affiliated science fair.