Science City Must Move
Operations at our site on Marion Avenue have had to cease. The City has given us 60 days from September 12 to move out completely and we are not to run any more programs here. We still plan on fulfilling our commitments to run a couple of free outreach events at the Budimir Library on September 12 and at the Arts and Heritage Festival in Ford City on September 26, but otherwise, we are busy packing and finding a new home. At its meeting on September 8, Cith Council decided in a closed session to reject our request for an extension while a feasibility study is conducted. We were not given the opportunity to speak to our request.
As you may have heard on CBC radio, seen on TV, or read in the Windsor Star, Windsor City Council had decided in February this year not to renew our lease of the former de Santis school at 930 Marion Ave. The decision was taken at an in camera meeting of Council, and Science City was not informed of the meeting beforehand or invited to it. We do now know all the considerations that went into Council's decision because the discussion there was held in confidence, but the lease arrangement was costing the City roughly $17,000 (8 cents per resident) per year for a combination of maintenance and a discount on some utilities, and we are aware that there was concern that water leaks could present liability issues for the City. However, the decision took Science City by surprise since we had been holding intensive and friendly meetings with City lawyers in 2014 about a proposal made by the previous mayor and council for the transfer of the building to Science City with a grant of a half million dollars to cover some of the needed repairs. For more information, see click here.
By the time we knew about the decision, plans for our busy summer operations were well underway. We are grateful to the City for allowing us to continue operations into September. However, we have been asked to vacate the building by September 12.
Search for New Home
We at Science City know we are providing an important need and vital service to the community. Our mission, to advance the understanding and appreciation of science and its applications, has never been more relevant to our lives and the city's future. It is needed to realize the main objectives of the City`s 20-year plan: jobs, image, and growth. With the help of many volunteers, donors, and employment grants, we have been able to keep admission prices low enough that they rarely pose a barrier to visitors. Our search for a new home has been frustrating as we have seen many promising leads turn into blind alleys. A major problem has been the amount of space we require. As the assessment that the City commissioned in 1997 stated, a sustainable science centre in the region needs 25,000 to 50,000 sqft of space in order to have enough critical mass, but at commercial rates, rent for so much space can be prohibitive. There are many considerations that go into a sucessful venture, including other partners, fundraising, location, etc. Fortunately, we now have a skilled and experienced fundraiser donating time to us. We need time to complete a proper feasibility study that will guide us on a secure path.
Is Science City Sustainable?
This is an important question that some in City Administration and on the Council have raised. Let's address it head-on and let you be the judge. We have been operating as an interactive science centre at our current site for eleven years, since March break 2004, and although overspending was an issue early on, for the last five years, we have been operating in the black and paying all our bills on time while continuing to introduce new programs and exhibits. We own an exhibit on biodiversity by the World Wildlife Foundation and another from the Canadian Aquatic Invasive Species Network. We have hosted exhibits on Climate Change from Science North, three exhibits on space travel from the Canadian Space Agency, and most recently, the parkway exhibit from the Windsor Border Initiatives Implementation Group and the Ontario Ministry of Transport. The deteriorating infrastructure of our city-owned building has caused unsightly and damaging water leaks and driven out one of our partners, the Border City Radio Club. Furthemore, the lack of a lease for more than one month at a time since December 2012 has prevented us from applying for a number of grants that could have helped and has driven other partners, namely Building Blocks for Better Babies and the Windsor Model Railroad Club. In spite of these serious impediments, we have stayed on budget, paid all our bills, and even grown modestly. We have frequently been recognized for our service to the community, including from David Suzuki, Chris Hatfield, and various community groups. So are we sustainable? Think what we could do without the problems of a deteriorating building and lack of lease!
Thanks to Service Canada and Young Canada Works for summer positions!
The government of Canada, through Service Canada's Canada Summer Jobs program is covering the cost of our Program and Events Coordinator for the summer, and Young Canada Works is supporting our Volunteer Supervisor this summer. We are extremely fortunate to have found talented and dedicated advanced university students Tida Kheav and Joseph Correia to fill these positions.
Finally we have moved a bit further into the 21st century, and you can make secure payments online through our website. We use a combination of Stripe and SpaceBox, which provides security for your personal information and charge-card numbers. Try it out using our payments form!
Pearl Bradd, who was recognised as the "Grandmother of Science City" in 2011 for her years of contributions and work for here, was declared a Conservation Champion at a recent ceremony by ERCA, the Essex Region Conservation Authority. One of Pearl's most recent projects has been to revamp our animal and fossil exhibits. Come and admire her wonderful work!
Curriculum-Based Class Programs 2014-15
Bring your school class for an exciting program of hands-on science activities. There are several curriculum-based workshops to choose from. Full-day and half-day programs are available.
Membership in CASC
Science City is a proud member of the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC) and participates in their reciprocal program of free admissions. If you are a member of another participating CASC centre, you have free admission to Science City. Conversely, if you are a member of Science City, your membership card will also give you free general admission to over two dozen other CASC centres across Canada.
There's plenty to do and see at Science City. Kids really love the fossil dig, shadowland, and the human bubble. We also have live animals (snakes, turtles, fish, tarantulas, geckos, ...) and a time tunnel of historical telephones, photo equipment, TVs, computers, and so on. We house a Parkway exhibit, too, showing how the Herb Gray Parkway is being constructed to preserve natural habitats. But our emphasis is on hands-on interactive exhibits showing principles of physical science and biodiversity. We have about a hundred of these.
"Awesome!" "Amazing!" "I Love It!" are just a few of the comments. Read more on the link below.
Birthday Parties at Science City!
Book the best Birthday Party in Windsor. Science based. Easy, Convenient, Fun, Educational and Affordable. Visit the Lagoon, Big Dig, Human Bubble and More!!!
Capri Pizza Discount
Get 20% off items in the take-out menu from Capri Pizza, Dougall Avenue, ordered for Birthday Parties and other events held at SCIENCE CITY!!
New! Tutorials in Math & Science
Students are often pushed into advanced classes before they are comfortable with the basics. This is especially problematic in math. It's easy to get behind and to want to give up. We offer individual and small-group tutorials in math and science, given by qualified university graduate students or upper-level undergraduates, starting October 2, 2013. Our tutorials build an understanding of concepts through hands-on problem solving.
Our operations manager, Anthony Sabo has been selected for a prestigious award: the University of Windsor's 2014 Student's Choice: Outstanding VIP Supervisor Award. In announcing the award, Kerri Zold, the Supervisor for Co-operative Education and Career Services, wrote "Your support of our Volunteer Intership Program and students is exemplary and I feel fortunate to have you participate as a supervisor."
Thanks to Donors!
Admission receipts are never enough to ccover our operation expenses. We depend on generous donations in order to survive.
Gift Ideas from Science City
Give memberships in Science City! Spread the fun experiencing the joy of discovering science and its applications. Great for children of all ages, even seniors! Members of Science City have free admission to 2 dozen Science Centres across Canada. Gift certificates, single admission tickets, and gifts from our science store are also available.
Apple App now available for Science City
Thanks to our talented high-school volunteer Gurpreet Chana, there is now a free Science City app for your iPhone. Keep in touch with hours, prices, and events. To download it, visit the App Store at http://www.apple.com/itunes/. You can find the app in the Education section under Canada South Science City.
David Suzuki Presents Award to Science City
We were pleased to be recognized for our efforts to raise awareness about science and the importance of protecting our environment. Our thanks to the organizers of the Canvas Campus and to Dr. Suzuki for making the Mother Earth Awards.
Monday to Wednesdays by appointment only.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10 AM to 5 PM
Children 3 yrs. to 12 yrs:..............$6.00
2 adults + 2 children:.............$25.00 (a $3 savings)
Additional children each:..........$5.00 ($1 savings each)
Children 2 yrs & under:...............Free
School teachers with ID...............Free
Support workers with clients.........Free
Family of 4 Memberships..............$75
Additional family members...........$20 ea
Thanks to our membership in the reciprocal program of the Canadian Association of Science Centres, members in Science City have free general admission to over 2 dozen Science Centres across Canada.
Parking is FREE at Science City!