For the first time in its history, the South Dakota Discovery Center (SDDC) will have an endowment, an important step in building a more sustainable future for the organization, enabling them to better reach and support kids and educators across the state.
The Center raised $80,000 in an endowment challenge that qualified them to receive an additional $20,000 gift from the South Dakota Community Foundation. Every dollar goes towards equity in education and supports the Discovery Center’s mission to provide South Dakotans science opportunities that spark exploration and new discovery at every age level.
“The reality is that there are many barriers to scientific and technological knowledge that helps kids become successful adults in careers that support the state’s economy,” says Dr. Rhea Waldman, SDDC Executive Director. “This endowment will support programs, developed by our team, that support students and their teachers in providing access to real-world STEM education.”
On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the SDDC is hosting its staff and board members, media, and the Community Foundation in a ceremony celebrating this achievement. The public is welcome to share stories of how the SDDC has impacted them via social media using the hashtag #advocateforscience and by tagging the SDDC. Visit the Center’s Facebook page for new daily content and updates about this and other activities.
“This represents a new day for the SD Discovery Center,” wrote Anne Lewis, SDDC Special Projects Director, upon hearing the news. “A first in its 30 year history.” Lewis has been a part of the organization since 1997.
The SDDC is open to all. As the first institution of its kind in South Dakota, the Center’s mission has grown from introducing children and their families to science through an acclaimed exhibit hall to including the instruction of educators at all levels and enhancing scientific understanding through programming geared at inspiring creative minds and critical thinking in all ages.
“We could not have done this without the work of our board, staff, and volunteers,” says Dr. Waldman. “The generosity of our community is beyond expectation. I am humbled and grateful and want to thank everyone for their support.”
Pictured above: Dr. Rhea Waldman, SDDC Executive Director, 2020