The mission of the Powerhouse Science Center is to spark curiosity, ignite imagination, and power exploration.
The Powerhouse Science Center (PSC) is an all-ages interactive science center located in the rural Four Corners region of Southwest Colorado. Our mission is to spark curiosity, ignite imagination and power exploration. We carry out this mission by providing hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exhibits and experiences for 20,000+ people in our gallery space each year. Visitors to the PSC experience innovative and sophisticated science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts in a fun and welcoming environment that nurtures curiosity, imagination and exploration. In addition to our gallery, education programs run through the Center have taught over 135,000 youth and adults in and around our region since 2008.
Open year-round on the banks of the Animas River, the Powerhouse provides access to creative, seasonal and innovative opportunities rarely found in the Four Corners Region. The PSC is a community focal point in the heart of Durango; providing space for indoor family adventure, and intellectual stimulation and play; servicing regional schools with field trips and outreach services; providing our community with early childhood learning, week-long science summer camps, and robotics leagues; and adults with interesting and interactive STEM social opportunities. We are a rich, cultural amenity and the hub for STEM in our rural, high-mountain desert region. Local teachers turn to us for in-class workshops that supplement curricula. Teens interested in STEM strengthen their skills and develop interpersonal strengths through our science career ladder internship program: a pipeline to college and STEM careers.
The campus on the river is what unprecedented investment in our community looks like -investment in discovery + science education, youth and families, as well as our tourist economy. Originally founded in 1994 as The Children's Museum of Durango, by 1999, the hands-on museum had outgrown its 1,100-square-foot attic facility. Needing space to serve older visitors and accommodate yearly growth, the museum community proposed converting the historic Durango Light and Power Company's 1982 A-C generating power plant, then a brownfield site, into an interactive all-ages science museum. Dedicated volunteers and members obtained grants for architectural renovation, asbestos removal, and site cleanup. These extraordinary efforts poured $1.2 million dollars into the building, allowing the Powerhouse to be recognized on the State and National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to a strong partnership with the city, a 25-year lease was signed in 2007 for $1 a year. By opening day on February 23, 2011, over $5 million dollars had been contributed to renovate and restore in the interior of the Powerhouse building, demonstrating the value of the museum concept to the community at large. To date, over $6.6 million dollars has been gifted to the project from more than 2,500 donors.
"...too bad we are not locals so we can visit more often!" (via google review)
"Myself, my wife and my two kids had a BLAST here, would definitely recommend and go again and again." (via google maps review)
"Sudden Science is my most favorite after-school thing to do. I love science and I am so good at it now!" (3rd grade student, Fort Lewis Mesa Elementary)
"I think what you guys are doing is an excellent way of teaching science to kids and for them to realize that science can be really cool and fun." (After-school teacher, Animas Valley Elementary)
"What a fun activity this was!! My students LOVED it, and could have spent the whole day exploring your solar energy activities." (Pagosa Springs Elementary Teacher)
"All of them [my students] have come away with more knowledge, and skills, and love of science." (Southern Ute Indian Tribe Montessori Academy Teacher)
"For me, I can look through with children's eyes. I remember I broke a clipboard in front of them, and we discussed energy and that understanding stayed with them all year. I think through this partnership, they have made us become better as a staff. The kids need to know science isn't dry." (Southern Ute Indian Tribe Montessori Academy Teacher)