2016-10-07 / Neighbors

Discovery Center still going strong

Interactive exhibit gives kids hands-on lesson in history

The Discovery Center opened at the Reagan Library in 2008 to offer fifth- through eighth-grade students an immersive educational experience.

Located in the Air Force One Pavilion, the 5,000-square-foot interactive gallery included replicas of the Oval Office, a pressroom, a command center and more.

As part of the interactive exhibit, students are transported back in time to 1983 at the height of the Cold War with the responsibility of making decisions on what action, if any, the U.S. should take in the face of current events.

“It was and is a highly successful immersive program, but we wanted to take the Discovery Center and put it on steroids for an older audience. That’s where the Situation Room comes in,” said Mira Cohen, the library’s director of education.

“The other thing we noticed is that as technology was evolving, we could disseminate information differently by using the technology available,” she continued.

“The ability to send information to multiple tablets at one time is something we wouldn’t have been able to do (in the Discovery Center) in 2008, but we can now in the Situation Room.”

Since its opening eight years ago, Cohen said, the Discovery Center has expanded to include a high school program for older students.

Melissa Simon

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