Children’s Science Center plans to welcome kids back to the building for the first time in more than a year.
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The Children’s Science Center at Fair Oaks Mall will reopen its doors for the first time in more than a year starting in June.
“We are going to be operating differently. We will have timed-entry sessions on the weekends for general visitations starting June 19,” said Dorothy Ready, the Director of Communications at Children’s Science Center. “Then on Monday through Friday, we are just dedicating the space that we have in the lab to our campers.”
The Children’s Science Center went virtual back on March 13, 2020.
“The love and support of our community honestly, we have been fortunate to get the PPP loan and so we were able to keep our virtual doors open and support those children out there. We have these rockstar educators who turned it into the most fun experience they could possibly have in a virtual world and did such a great job. We turned every single program we have into a virtual program, including birthday parties, field trips, animal encounters and camps,” said Ready.
Following the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for summer camps, the Children’s Science Center will have campers social distance in the entire lab. The rest of the general public can sign up for timed-entry sessions on the weekends.
The staff members and camp counselors will all be fully vaccinated.
The Children’s Science Center will also continue to offer virtual classes for those families not comfortable attending in person.
“We recognize that not everybody is on the same comfort level with this vaccine and the pandemic and we want to serve those children as well,” said Ready.
“Everything we learned over the past year, we are not throwing out the window. We are sticking with it and we are actually running virtual camps along with our in-person camps this summer,” said counselor Ashlyn Salvage.
“The only silver lining I would say is that in a virtual world, we have reached across many many miles. We had kids in our summer camp last year, our virtual summer camp from about 10 different states,” said Ready.
One project which has not stalled during the pandemic has been building a future science center in Northern Virginia.
“Northern Virginia has cause to celebrate Tuesday as there’s been another critical step in the project to bring a world-class science center to the region.
Last Thursday, a virtual premiere broadcast officially introduced the Northern Virginia Science Center and the Launch the Future Campaign was announced to supporters. With 90% of the $75 million project cost committed, the focus of the campaign now shifts to securing the remaining private support needed to turn vision into reality.
The Northern Virginia Science Center is being developed through a public-private partnership including the Children’s Science Center, a Northern Virginia-based nonprofit, the Science Museum of Virginia, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Loudoun County.
The 70,000-square-foot Science Center, which is expected to serve more than 300,000 guests a year, will be different from other museums in the region. It will use science as a lens through which we look at the world as curious, creative and critical thinkers. It will build community connections and embrace the idea that STEM isn’t just part of our world, it is our world,” the Children’s Science Center said in a news release.