We did it!!!
Thanks to your support, we not only reached our $30,000 goal that we needed to survive, but we've now passed our stretch goal of $36,000! This is wonderful news and we're so thrilled by all the support that has been shown for Discovery.
Because we managed to raise the extra $6,000, Discovery is now committed to developing a shiny new Minibeast Zone.
New Minibeast Zone at DiscoveryThe Minibeast Zone will feature invertebrates - insects, spiders, and other bugs.
We thought long-time Discovery resident the Giant Ant could do with some friends, and we know how much visitors love seeing and learning about live animals. We'll build a fancy new invertebrate enclosure and invite a few sticky friends to live with the Giant Ant. And you can come and visit them anytime! We'll also get some preserved minibeast specimens and magnifying glasses so you can get really up close and personal with some creepy crawlies. Add to that our meat ant farm we built last year PLUS a new indoor-grass floor covering, and you've got a whole minibeast zone to explore!
The Discovery story - 20 years of inspiration
For 20 years, Discovery has been providing fun, hands-on science experiences for students, teachers, visitors, the community of Bendigo, and beyond. Whether it's learning about gravity and the body's fear response by plummeting down the Vertical Slide, or flying through the solar system in the planetarium, a visit to Discovery involves unforgettable experiences that open up a word of wonder for visitors of all ages.
We know how important it is to engage young people in learning from preschool to year 12 and beyond. That's what we do at Discovery. We run specialized programs like Curious Kids where preschool children learn about the science behind some of their favourite story books. We run curriculum-based workshops for schools in our specially designed lab, and special events like adults evenings where you can learn about the science of chocolate while nibbling on canapés and sipping on a glass of wine.
We're now trying to raise $30,000 by 31 July so we can keep the doors open while we get back on our feet.
Discovery in crisis
Unfortunately Discovery is in crisis at the moment. We're facing an uncertain future due to lack of operational funding. Like every other science centre (and museum and art gallery) in the world, we don't make enough money through admissions to fund our everyday operations. While we've been very successful with philanthropic and government grants (over 1.5 million since 2005!), these are almost always tied to specific projects (like building a planetarium) rather than funding just to keep the doors open.
For the last 10 years we've been managed by The Bendigo Trust, and we're really grateful for all the support they've given us. But the time has come for the Trust to focus on their core business of heritage, and Discovery must find a way forward on its own.
Since the news broke about Discovery's possible closure, we've been overwhelmed by the support shown by Bendigo and beyond. Because of this support, we're optimistic Discovery will not only survive, but thrive.
What we're doing
We're re-booting Discovery: we're forming a new Board with great skills in education, business, finance, and marketing. This team of people will drive Discovery forward, build on existing partnerships with key organisations, and build new partnerships. They will be updating our strategic plan to ensure we have a sustainable business model into the future.
We're got heaps of great ideas for what we will be doing with Discovery in the short and long term, including new shows, new lab workshops, and re-vitalising our exhibit floor to keep it fresh and dynamic (like our minibeast zone!). We want to have a maker space for people to 'think with their hands' and learn about science and technology through building things.
We need you!
This is where you come in: we need funds right now to keep the doors open and give the new Board 12 months to get Discovery back on its feet.
Trying to re-open the Centre if it closes is much
much harder than keeping it open. We've already had support from some key partners including La Trobe University, Champions IGA, and Sunergy Solar in Bendigo. We just need another $30,000 to ensure we have enough funding to stay open while the new Board finds its feet. Money raised will be spent on employing staff, buying materials, and covering other operational costs like utilities.