The Lancaster Science Factory will open the Mueller Family Outdoor Courtyard July 25.
The 4000-square-foot space features new exhibits and a theme of environmental sustainability.
This will be the first outdoor space at the Lancaster Science Factory and follows an expansion in January of 2019 which doubled the size of the exhibit hall and added a Maker Space, the company said.
New exhibits include a Stormwater Exhibit where visitors can recycle stormwater collected from the roof or use it to water a lush rain garden filled with native plants and pollinators and a Solar Power Flower that can be spun to face the sun to power sounds, spinners, and lights.
The exhibits are placed along a fully ADA accessible riverbed pathway. Ten interpretive signage panels designed by Pennsylvania College of Aart &Design students are located throughout the courtyard to help visitors learn about environmental sustainability in Lancaster County and how they can take simple steps to protect the water and soil in their own backyards.
In addition to new exhibits, the courtyard features the work of three local artists. A sprawling, 100-foot mural by muralist Katie Trainer follows the waters of the Conestoga River as it winds through Lancaster County eventually meeting up with the Susquehanna River. The mural follows the water’s journey as it spills into the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace.
A 15-foot-tall kinetic tree sculpture by metalsmith Jeremy Waak mimics the movement of a Willow Oak as it sways in the breeze. Constructed from stainless steel and aluminum, Waak’s sculpture appears to grow out of the rain garden.
Walnut slab benches by Brian Gish are located in the shady tree appreciation area. The three benches feature blue epoxy inlays and educational laser etchings of the Susquehanna River, Chesapeake Bay, Conestoga River, and watersheds of Pennsylvania.
The Mueller Family Outdoor Courtyard was funded through contributions from more than 125 donors to the Science Factory’s ongoing Elevate Curiosity Campaign. To date, the Science Factory has raised $3.8M on a $4.1M campaign goal.