Nevada’s Discovery Museum Inspires the Youth of Northern Nevada

Discovery Overload: A term coined by the staff of the museum to describe the event that occurs when a child finally reaches the top of the ramp to enter The Discovery Museum and first lays eyes on the all the attractions. The Cloud Climber is the first challenge to be witnessed, and conquered.

18 students from Austin, NV grades K-4 piled into a bus to drive 175 miles each way to see the Nevada Discovery Museum. How did they earn the funds to pay for the bus trip? They sold a sheep. Welcome to Nevada.

A mother and her daughter were skipping away as they were leaving The Discovery, an employee asked the mother, “Wow, most kids are battling to stay here- your daughter is so cooperative!” The mother replied, “I had to tell her that we are going home to eat whipped cream! “

Great stories like these are consistently posted on The Nevada Discovery Museum’s Facebook page, and they often receive tons of attention. What great way to depict the type of excitement that is experienced by the children here. Patrick Turner is the Marketing and PR Manager at Discovery, and does a fantastic job at creating the museum’s culture through their Facebook. Videos, stories, and pictures are shared consistently each week to share individual experiences of the children.

In 2004, The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum was founded by Chris Riche. Chris and his two young sons frequently visited other museums; he realized Reno’s lack of an educational  hands-on experience for children. Chris formed a small board of individuals who would help develop his idea as well as look for donors. Over $20 million has been donated to this non-profit start-up, $5 million which was donated by The Terry Lee Wells Foundation. The Discovery Museum landed in the old City Hall building on Center St. Remediation began on September 8, 2010 to create an over-arching theme of contextual Nevada.

You want water? There’s the “Truckee Connects.” You want stars, fishing and camping? There’s “Under the Stars.” The Discovery’s board wanted to create something that was directly related to what Reno is. They didn’t want just any museum; they wanted a place to educate our youth on the history of this great state which they’re being raised in. Whether its wandering through a mine tunnel, crushing rock with a pick ax, or rooting through crushed cork to look for hidden treasures, The Nevada Discovery Museum is a hands-on representation of Northern Nevada. Tica Lubin was responsible for the museum’s content creation and design. Members from Indian colonies, University of Nevada, NV Energy, and miners from Virginia City all contributed to create an accurate and engaging experience for our youth.

September 10, 2011 The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum opened. To date, over 125,000 people have visited the museum. This is double the amount of visitors forecasted in such a short period of time. It was estimated that the Discovery would sell 2,000 yearly memberships by the end of 2011, almost 6,000 memberships have been sold.

Become a fan of the Nevada Discovery Museum on Facebook to live vicariously through these excited kids (and parents!) and get updated on the latest happenings like homemade hydrogen balloon explosions and mentos and tonic water geysers!

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3 thoughts on “Nevada’s Discovery Museum Inspires the Youth of Northern Nevada

  1. We went a few weeks ago and my daughter had a blast! I grew up in the Bay Area and would always make trips to the Exploratorium in SF. I am so glad Reno has something similar so my daughter can have those experiences too. We actually bought a family membership so we can go anytime 🙂 Great blog on a great organization!

    1. Hi Sam! Thanks for the comment, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Reno desparately needed a resource like this in our community. I saw pictures of your little girl, and she is a doll. I am so glad she enjoys The Discovery, they are doing a fantastic job over there. Thank you Sam!

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