Downtown Springfield Association
Children do a science experiment at the Discovery Center
Downtown Business Spotlight, News Stories

The Discovery Center is helping the helpers

March 19, 2020

One downtown institution of more than 20 years is closing its doors to the public to begin offering
emergency educational and childcare assistance for healthcare workers at places like CoxHealth and Mercy
Springfield with displaced school aged children.

With at least 12 area school districts now remaining closed until April 6, the Discovery Center — the Ozarks’ nonprofit, community funded science center — in Downtown Springfield has announced that it will be closing to the immediately to prepare to offer emergency education and childcare to hundreds of kids each day.

“Mister Rogers taught us to look for the helpers,” said Rob Blevins, Executive Director, “but we must be doing
much more than just looking right now. We need to be helping the helpers. The incredible and capable healthcare
community can only be in position and ready to save your life or the life of somebody you love if they know that their child or children are being cared for so that they can go into work.”

The Discovery Center has shown proactive leadership for years and has become not only a treasured institution but also a vital, top-tier community asset. Last week, the Discovery Center began offering their Science of Germs and Hand Washing program to visitors and area children at no cost and launched a brand new exhibit on the science of fevers using a display screen and a thermal camera.

The Discovery Center administration is seeking private donors and is working with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, and the Missouri Foundation for Health to secure the funding necessary to run this program. Donations can be mailed to the Center at 438 E. St. Louis St. or made online at There is also a live fundraiser on the Center’s Facebook page at

Many community members choose to support the Center by purchasing a year-long membership, which can be purchases online at Right now, the Center is selling a limited number of memberships at 50% and will continue offering 15% all memberships through March. The Center will also extend all memberships purchased or renewed during their public shutdown so members do not lose out on their membership time while the Center is closed to the public.

The Discovery Center of Springfield delivers a world-class experience through cutting edge science while inspiring curiosity and a life-long love of learning through memorable and engaging hands-on experiences in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education.