Our Reopening Plan: Rooted in Science

Our Reopening Plan: Rooted in Science

We know you’re eager to get back to SCI! 

As a hands-on science center, we also know that “getting back to normal” looks a little different for us than it does for other attractions in the community. That’s why our reopening plan is designed in phases, which will allow audiences to begin reengaging with SCI while keeping the health and safety of our members, visitors, volunteers and staff top-of-mind. 

Our plan is rooted in science. It is based on guidance from public health officials. And it follows best practices shared by our peers at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC)

Safety is one of our core values — and it's more important for us to open safely than to open quickly. With that in mind, here’s our plan: 

Phase I: Opening the SCI Preschool 

Starting next 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.  

For questions about SCI Preschool operations, contact scipreschool@sciowa.org.   

Phase II: Serving students through Summer Camps 

Attending camp is a beloved summertime tradition. 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.  

With this plan, SCI Summer Camps will operate virtually for the first two weeks (June 8-12 and June 15-19) and plans to move to onsite operations starting June 22. To limit camp sizes, capacities have been reduced and remaining spaces are limited.

Summer Camp FAQs

Phase III: Welcoming back our members 

We can't thank our members enough for their support during these unusual times! As a small token of thanks, we 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.  

(And yes, current members will receive expiration date extensions! More details will be announced in the coming weeks, and you will receive an email containing your new expiration date in late-June.) 

Membership FAQs

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. For more information on group visits, contact sales@sciowa.org.  

General FAQs

Phase V: The “New Normal” 

As the summer progresses, we will learn more about the virus and how it’s impacting our community. We also will learn how our audiences interact with our exhibits and programs under these new circumstances. We can’t put an exact date on it right now, but likely toward the end of summer, we will be able to open in a broader capacity.  

Ways to Support SCI 

At SCI, our goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and inventors... the ones who will solve the world's next big problems.  

To do this, we depend on admissions, program fees, memberships and contributions. Being closed has had a major financial impact, but we have remained committed to adapting and innovating to continue fulfilling our mission. 

If you are able, we would greatly appreciate your support through a donation or the purchase of an SCI membership. Thank you for your commitment to science and unwavering support of SCI! 

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