In the 1970s, Dr. Gerhard Stroink started developing interactive science exhibits and demonstrations as part of Dalhousie University’s open house events. So popular with the public, Dr. Richard Goldbloom, and local entrepreneur, Liz Crocker joined forces with Stroink, with the idea of establishing a true science centre, where the wonders of STEAM could take permanent residence in the hearts and minds of Nova Scotians.
They and other volunteers continued to create new and exciting science experiences and eventually the group found their way onto the road, as a travelling science show hustled out of the back of van, bringing unique participatory science programming to communities around the province. With growing interest and support, the burgeoning Discovery Centre registered as a non-profit society in 1985, as a charitable organization in 1989, and in 1990, finally acquired the support they needed from the government, private sector, and community, to move operations off-road and into its first home in a 5000 square foot location in Scotia Square, Halifax.
Five years later, the Centre grew into a larger location on Barrington Street and became a fixture of the city’s downtown for 20 years, exposing locals and visitors alike to the exciting curiosities of STEAM with its remarkable exhibits, facilitated programming, curriculum-based workshops, and educational outreach. In 2010, fresh and fearless CEO, Dov Bercovici forged ahead on a path to advance the Centre to a state-of-the-art facility and provide Halifax with a world-class cultural and educational icon.
After a successful 24 million dollar capital campaign, the Discovery Centre opened its dream location in a LEED Platinum-certified building on the Halifax waterfront in February 2017. Four stories high with over 40,000 square feet of space, the Centre is the newest science museum in the country, boasting cutting-edge experiences, innovative galleries, and incredible exhibits from around the globe.
The idea that curiosity connects us all is fully realized at the new Discovery Centre. It is a shared space where science and technology can delight, unite, and ignite. To date, the Centre has welcomed approximately 2 million visitors. As a not-for-profit, the continued success of the Discovery Centre relies on revenue from admissions, programming and services, as well as the members, volunteers, and generous individuals, corporations, foundations, and agencies who all value our passion to spark enthusiasm for STEAM and inspire a future full of innovation and prosperity.