The Reading Science Center is the first hands-on science center in the greater Reading area. Founder, Jim Cinelli, was inspired by other science museums and initiated the spark that became the Reading Science Center. Recruitment across Berks County began for those who loved science and engineering. By the help of industry professionals, teachers and college professors, and many, many volunteers, the Reading Science Center was officially created. In 2019, enough financial support was accumulated to create the Center as a 501c3 non-profit organization. Jim Cinelli was creative in repurposing museum materials and still creating a child-friendly space that anyone can enjoy! Although the global pandemic delayed the opening of the Reading Science Center, Cinelli’s dream was not crushed. In October 2020, the Reading Science Center officially opened its doors on 645 Penn Street, with the mission to cultivate a love for educational and experiential learning for all who enter! The Reading Science Center addresses career shortages in STEM fields and utilizes their programs to advance scientific education within the Reading community!
Inside the Reading Science Center, the possibilities are endless! With over 35 exhibits to explore, each guest can learn something new. Our interactive exhibits include our Cell Lab stations, Kinetic and Potential Energy interactive displays, Osmo stations, Sand Pendulums, and a life-size Newton's Cradle! The Reading Science Center is always looking to expand and is introducing their new Reading Nook in November 2021!
Community outreach is the sole mission of the Reading Science Center. Engaging Reading’s youth in science to cultivate career-minded students and leaders is the goal. Through generous donors and sponsors, the Sisters in STEM program was launched, allowing 4th and 5th grade female students the opportunity to receive one-on-one engagements in STEM-based activities. The 2020 SIS pilot program was successful, with visiting “Real-life scientists” and girls who “graduated” from the program feeling more confident and connected to their love for science! As the 2021 program continues, we are excited to see how we can impact the lives of these girls through science! Throughout the summer of 2021, the Reading Science Center partnered with the Reading Youth Initiative to bring Science to Summer Camp! Through a partnership with the Holleran Center, Alvernia University, the Reading Science Center plans to visit several Reading School District schools promoting critical and logical thinking through scientific processes!
Opportunities with the Reading Science Center don’t end there! With a space over 7,000 sq-ft, the Reading Science Center offers personalized birthday parties and field trips for your group. Classroom activities and full-access to the center are included! The Reading Science Center has also opened their classroom for local businesses and community organizations to host meetings. For any inquiries, visit our website, ReadingScienceCenter.org, or visit us on Saturdays at 645 Penn Street between 11-5 PM!