SciTech Hands-On Museum Announces Future Plans

AURORA, Ill.--()--The SciTech Hands-On Museum (SciTech), an award-winning hands-on STEM museum dedicated to inspiring learning through creative, interactive and educational activities and programming announced today the future of the museum.

According to Faith Slowinski, Executive Director of SciTech, “We regret to share with the greater Aurora community that after 34 years, SciTech is closing the museum doors at 18 W. Benton Street. It has been a struggle for a space-based, hands-on museum serving the STEM development of children to work out a financially viable pathway forward coming out of the pandemic.” Nick Scanlan, SciTech board president, shares insights into the board’s decision to close, “We had hoped for a shorter closure timeframe, leveraged available resources, and held out as long as we could, but the reality of opening safely and within budget during a pandemic was not able to be realized. We quite simply have run out of options for a viable museum location and the associated funding for such a move.”

Future Plans for SciTech

Scanlan shares the board’s near-term plans for SciTech, “The pandemic has taught us lessons about the new realities of physical space. Our board is currently refining plans to reimagine SciTech, not so much as a permanent physical place to visit, but as a STEM education resource, provider, and convener.” SciTech is currently focusing on the move out of 18 W. Benton Street while planning to retain key resources such as Starlab, a portable planetarium, and favorite hands-on curriculum. Slowinski adds, “Right now, we are looking for partners and innovative opportunities to leverage SciTech’s brand and unique assets while strengthening Aurora and the Fox Valley’s STEM network moving forward.” If you are interested in learning more, please contact Faith Slowinski at director@scitechmuseum.org or (630) 859-3434 x 217.

“First Share” of STEM supplies

As part of SciTech’s community-minded STEM mission, a “First Share” event for area schools and non-profits interested in acquiring new and gently used STEM and school supplies are available for a free will donation is scheduled for Friday and Saturday May 20-21. Friday hours are 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am – Noon at 18 W. Benton St. In order to gain entry to this educator’s free will donation event, adult guests are welcome and must show a business card or ID from their school or non-profit. Area museums are encouraged to contact Faith Slowinski if they are interested in considering exhibits or artifacts.

Offering a last look at Benton Street location

Slowinski wants to thank the Aurora community and the City of Aurora for their long-time support of SciTech on Benton Street. Realizing that the hands-on STEM children’s museum has been a beloved asset of downtown Aurora and the Fox Valley community, SciTech is offering a “Last Look” event on Friday, June 3, 2022 from 4 pm - 9 pm as part of Downtown Aurora’s First Friday events. The public is welcome in at no charge to walk through SciTech one last time before the doors close. The gift shop will be open, offering merchandise at 50% off and guests can also preview the “Last Chance” public sale that starts the following week.

Own a piece of the museum

A “Last Chance” event for the public will run daily beginning Monday, June 6 through Friday, June 10. Hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 8th will be from 1-6 p.m. All remaining items not moving with SciTech may be purchased by the public. All items are cash (or check) and carry with all sales final. Larger items purchased must be removed from SciTech no later than Friday, June 10 by 4:00 pm. Patrons who want to own a piece of SciTech’s history, should shop early for best selection. More information is available on the SciTech website at Https://www.scitechmuseum.org.

An occupant of 18 W. Benton Street since 1990, SciTech plans to vacate the 18 W. Benton Street building this summer to make way for a new City of Aurora development opportunity. SciTech’s history highlights may be found at https://www.scitechmuseum.org/history/. For more information, contact Faith Slowinski at director@scitechmuseum.org or (630) 859-3434 x 217.

SciTech Mission

The SciTech’s mission is to inspire learning through creative, interactive activities and educational programs.