SciTech finds new home in downtown Aurora

SciTech, the one-time hands-on science museum, has a new home, thanks to a partnership with APS Training Academy.

The museum will present hands-on science and mobile programs as part of APS Training Academy’s offerings on the second floor of the APS Tower, 105 E. Galena Blvd., at the corner of Galena and Broadway in downtown Aurora.

Faith Slowinski, SciTech executive director, said she is looking forward to “partnering and collaborating with APS Training Academy” in offering science to “deserving Aurora families through free and affordable STEM programs.”

“SciTech is eager to begin working alongside APS Training Academy … with our portable hands-on outreach,” said Nick Scanlan, SciTech board president.

The museum closed earlier this year after 34 years in downtown at 18 W. Benton St. It had been closed for two years previously due to the coronavirus pandemic.

APS made the announcement recently at its Masquerade Gala, an annual fund-raiser, where officials also announced that Kelsey Cozens had been named the new executive director of the academy.

“I am inspired every day by the mission of APS Training Academy, to empower vulnerable communities in Aurora by providing free and low-cost education and vocational opportunities in STEM, and look forward to leading us through this exciting high-growth period,” Cozens said.

The founder and board president of APS is Harish Ananthapadmanabhan, who also is a developer of properties in downtown Aurora.

“Kelsey has been a valued team member at APS Training Academy for the past two years and is the right person to grow with the organization,” he said. “Kelsey is well connected with the Aurora community and she has my complete confidence to move APS Training Academy forward.”

APS Training Academy and the Aurora STEAM Academy had more than 2,000 kindergarten through eighth- grade learners in 2022.

The academy established four new robotics teams - two in elementary school and two in middle school - and 14 summer camps.

To date, 3,080 learners have been served since APS Training Academy opened in the fall of 2021.

As APS Training Academy scales to serve more learners in 2023, it also plans to add additional staff and secure a larger space. The academy plans to add more than 16 adult learning opportunities in digital literacy and industrial robotics.

“In just two years, APS Training Academy has outgrown its current fourth floor space … and has secured the larger second floor of the same building to accommodate our growing number of programs and learners,” Cozens said.