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SCI announces phased reopening plan

SCI announces phased reopening plan

  • Friday May 22, 2020

As businesses around the state begin reopening, the Science Center of Iowa (SCI) today announced its reopening plan – a phased approach that will allow audiences to begin reengaging with SCI while keeping the health and safety of our members, visitors, volunteers and staff top-of-mind. 

“As a hands-on science center, we know that ‘getting back to normal’ looks a little different for us than it does for other attractions in the community,” said Curt Simmons, SCI president and CEO. “Safety is one of our core values — and it’s more important for us to open safely than to open quickly.” 

The reopening plan has five phases: 

Phase I: Opening the SCI Preschool 

Starting on Tuesday, May 26, the SCI Preschool will resume limited operations. Four classrooms, with a limited number of students, will operate with enhanced safety and cleaning procedures.  

Phase II: Serving students through Summer Camps 

In a typical summer, SCI provides more than 2,000 camp experiences on a variety of topics ranging from chemistry to rocketry and invention to dissection. This year, SCI Summer Camps will operate virtually for the first two weeks (June 8-12 and June 15-19) and move to onsite operations starting June 22. To limit camp sizes, capacities have been reduced and remaining spaces are limited. 

Phase III: Welcoming back SCI members 

SCI will host a members-only preview weekend on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28. This preview will introduce a modified SCI experience designed to limit crowds and reduce the spread of germs.  

Phase IV: Opening to the public 

Beginning July 4, SCI will be open on Saturdays and Sundays for attendance by members and the general public. This modified SCI experience is designed to limit crowds and reduce the spread of germs. Visitors will be required to pre-purchase timed tickets online, and access to “high-touch” exhibits and experiences will be restricted. More details will be announced in the coming weeks. 

In addition, beginning on June 29, SCI will begin opening for school and group visits during the week. 

Phase V: The “New Normal” 

As the summer progresses, SCI leaders will assess how the virus has impacted the community and how audiences are responding to modified experience. Toward the end of summer, the organization hopes to be able to open in a broader capacity.  

“We know everyone is eager to get back to SCI,” said Simmons. “But our plan is rooted in science. We look forward to welcoming the community back as soon as it is safe to do so.” 

Learn more SCI's reopening plan – including FAQs for camp operations, membership extensions and precautions that will be taken when reopening to the public – at www.sciowa.org/reopening.  

About the Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater

The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. Centrally located in Downtown Des Moines, SCI features dynamic experience platforms, large format theaters and daily interactive science demonstrations. Through daily visitors, a statewide educational outreach program and the NAEYC-accredited SCI Preschool, the Science Center of Iowa serves more than 300,000 people annually.