Community members from around the state met on Tuesday, September 26, at Thanksgiving Point’s Natural Curiosity Museum for a kickoff meeting to announce a new science and technology center for kids of all ages.
Thanksgiving Point’s Board of Directors for the new science and tech center is led by Brandon Fugal and Jeanette Bennett. Thanksgiving Point’s Board of Trustees authorized the new venue to expand the nonprofit’s mission to bring the joy of learning and the wonders of the natural world to life.
“We’ve toured science centers nationwide and gathered ideas for exhibits, programming, and community engagement. We’re now adding the secret sauce of community leaders in tech and science. Together, we can take our blank canvas and envision a science and tech center we can all be proud of for generations to come,” said Fugal and Bennett in a joint statement.
The current plan is to locate the science center north of the Thanksgiving Point Conference Center (Show Barn), but planners will still go through brainstorming before a location is determined.
The venue will ultimately be narrowed down to a focus of five to eight learning topics, such as:
• Energy (Solar, Wind, Fossil Fuels)
• Artificial Intelligence Technology
• Space and Aeronautics
• Science of Sports
• Communication Technology
• Science of Water
• Health Care
• Science of Urban Development
• Military Science
• Science of Music
“Thanksgiving Point helps kids gain confidence through the power of STEM,” said Thanksgiving Point CEO McKay Christensen, “The new center will give every child a chance to see themselves and the world in a new way, in a way that can change their life for good by encouraging curiosity.”
Some potential names for the new venue include “Thank Tank,” “Utah Tech Town,” “The Hub,” “STEM Town,” and “The Galaxy”.
The project is in the brainstorming phase, and stakeholders anticipate working with designers, architects, and engineers throughout 2024, with a groundbreaking in 2025 and completion in 2028.
Plans for the size of the center are about 50,000 square feet with an additional 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The non-profit organization hopes to fund the project through private donations, naming rights, bonding, and government grants.