Lehigh Valley

Da Vinci Science Center celebrates 20th anniversary

Leonardo da Vinci birthday marks occasion

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Sunday was a special day for a local non-profit. It marked the 20th anniversary for the Da Vinci Science Center.  This weekend, the center celebrated the milestone and could have more much more to celebrate soon.

Two decades later, Karen Knecht says the group has come a log way from a small organization in Bethlehem.

"We had a vision for doing great things with science education for the community and we've certainly evolved from that," says Knecht, director of education at Da Vinci Science Center.

The center strives to honor the life and legacy of its namesake, Leonardo da Vinci. On Sunday, the center champions technology, engineering, the arts and math education to go along with science in its 29,000 square-foot facility in Allentown.

"We have lots of things that kids can build and do in hands-on ways," says Knecht.

Like making molds of mini horses, following Da Vinci's own dream 500 years ago to create a 24-foot horse statue. The center also gave visitors the chance to build their own mini catapults and launch paint from a trebuchet onto a large canvas to create a giant work of art.

"We are definitely excited about where we're going," says Knecht.

Da Vinci Science Center has plans to grow not only in-house but potentially across the Lehigh Valley. The organization is still negotiating with the city of Easton to build a 170,000 square-foot NatureDome downtown. Mayor Sal Panto says an agreement must be approved by the end of June and Da Vinci still needs to purchase the $6 million property by March of next year.

For now, the celebration goes on for the group that started small and hopes to continues to grow.

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