Science Forward

About Science Forward

The Connecticut Science Center announced exciting plans for a major expansion of public offerings, enhanced programs, and student learning opportunities to profoundly change the way learners of all ages approach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences. The new offerings will enhance every floor of the Science Center, transforming the visitor experience from the moment of entry and through each exhibition gallery of Connecticut’s foremost informal STEM learning destination. These enhancements will appeal to all visitors while supporting teachers’ classroom work with materials and hands-on experiences that will bring science concepts to life.

The initiative, named Science Forward, will include exhibit additions and augmentations, as well as adaptable classroom and laboratory venues to meet the growing statewide demand for accessible STEM learning spaces. Rolling out over the next five years, this work will be keyed to science curriculum needs and the state’s future economic and workforce requirements while also adding value to one of Connecticut’s leading tourism destinations. An ambitious agenda of educational programs for schools and teachers complement the exhibit additions, including work by a team of STEM professionals and educators at the Science Center’s Mandell Academy for Teachers working closely with the State Department of Education to train teachers, readying them to incorporate the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into their everyday curricula and teaching practices; and Science Center staff developing tools for educators to use in their classrooms to highlight curriculum ties to Science Forward offerings that will enrich field trip experiences. All of this work will support NGSS and reinforce the role of science and technology in everyday life.

Beginning in 2017, a re-imagined Science Alley, the Science Center’s main atrium, will showcase the range of scientific exploration from the deep sea to outer space, which will capture the imagination of visitors with the breadth of scientific discovery. Soon after additional new spaces to open will include Butterfly Encounter, an all-season butterfly conservatory; an expanded Engineering Lab presenting hands-on activities and maker tasks as well as spaces for creative investigation and engineering design; a new Earth and Human Impact exhibition examining the way that humanity and our planet work in concert and in conflict; a new DNA and Genomic Sciences gallery featuring exhibits on crime scene investigation, heredity, and genomic medicine as well as a cutting-edge genomics lab; and a focused effort on increasing access to the Science Center by reducing financial barriers for student and family visitors while providing increased focus on populations where STEM professionals are underrepresented.

“The Connecticut Science Center is playing a pivotal role in changing the way science is taught, how students are learning, and helping teachers incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards into the classroom,” said Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell. “The shared public and private investment that created the Science Center gave our state and its children a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate interest in science and advance science instruction and learning, and we are so pleased to see that shared commitment continue in this way.”

Like the original state-led development of the Science Center, the Science Forward initiative is funded by a public-private partnership. The funding includes $10.5 million approved by the state in 2014, plus $5.5 million pledged by a wide range of generous corporations, foundations, and individuals, led by the Science Center’s all-volunteer Board of Trustees. Leading donors include Travelers, United Technologies Corporation, the Maximilian E. and Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, Pitney Bowes Foundation, Roger & Sondra Beit, Mark & Luanne Paley, the Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation, the Barnes Group, Charles & Christine Shivery, John & Tamara Lundgren, Shipman & Goodwin, and the SBM Charitable Foundation, Inc.

Concept Art Gallery

Science Alley

Science Forward Donors


$10,000,000 AND ABOVE

  • State of Connecticut

$1,000,000–5,000,000

  • Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Inc.
  • Travelers
  • United Technologies Corporation

$500,000–999,999

  • Roger and Sondra Beit & Mark and Luanne Paley
  • Stanley Black & Decker

$100,000–499,999

  • Tom and Melanie Barnes
  • The Barnes Group Foundation
  • Harry & Carol Barnes Family Foundation
  • Edward H. and Mary G. Budd
  • The Cheryl Chase and Stuart Bear Family Foundation
  • John F. Lundgren and Tamara Adler Lundgren
  • Pitney Bowes Foundation
  • SBM Charitable Foundation
  • Charles W. and Christine S. Shivery

$50,000–99,999

  • James Arthur Fairweather and Dayan Moore
  • J. Michael and Sharon P. McQuade
  • The Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation
  • Shipman & Goodwin LLP
  • Wilson and Rebecca Vega
  • Lizabeth and Richard Zlatkus

$25,000–49,999

  • Edward W. and Diana Cassidy
  • Robert and Jeanne Leduc
  • William C. Malugen and Nancy Martin
  • Michael C. and Cassandra L. Matteo
  • Thomas A. and Elsee McEachin
  • Marie C. and Thomas P. O’Brien
  • Donna and Jack Sennott
  • Theodore S. and Barbara T. Sergi
  • Timken Foundation of Canton
  • The Xerox Foundation
  • Christopher R. and Beverly Zell

$10,000–24,999

  • John and Suzanne Bourdeaux
  • Mun Y. and Suzanne Choi
  • Klarn J. and Kristin DePalma
  • Jeffrey and Lori Flaks
  • Matt Fleury and Irene O’Connor
  • Barbara L. Flynn & The John G. Martin Foundation
  • Andrew C. and Mary Glassman
  • Marjorie E. Morrissey
  • William and Alice Mortensen Foundation
  • Scott L. and Cathy Murphy
  • Kay and Buddy Rahardjo
  • Wayne Rawlins and Janet Flagg
  • Len and Robyn Wolman

UP TO $9,999

  • Donald L. Filer and Alisa Masterson
  • Monica and Matthew Hoffman
  • Anonymous