Discovery Center continues to make slow, but sure progress
Since 2002, Four Corners School of Outdoor Education has been working on building the Canyon Country Discovery Center-a place-based learning center on and about the Colorado Plateau.
Over five years, the idea was developed and expanded by the City’s Economic Development Committee and their chosen partner, Four Corners School of Outdoor Education. This partnership produced three scoping meetings, 32 focus groups, forty leadership team meetings, 20 informational meetings, eight mini- science-events, a Market Feasibility Study, and a Business Plan.
To our award-winning programs FCS will add an array of education, service, technology, and research programs to serve 35,000 kids, teachers, families, and adults onsite annually, and an additional 97,000 kids, teachers, families, and adults through outreach programs annually for residents of San Juan County and the Colorado Plateau, as well as many of the two million drive-through travelers each year.
The vision of the Canyon Country Discovery Center is to provide formal and informal educational programs for schools, families, individuals, and inter-generational groups that illuminate the place of humans within the natural world of the Colorado Plateau.
Using traveling outreach, museum-based exhibits and observation experiences, field trips, workforce development, and in-depth scientific research, CCDC promotes discovery, inquiry, appreciation, and opportunities to learn about the interconnectedness of the natural systems and the human cultures that live within the Plateau.
CCDC’s 14,000 square foot facility, as designed and planned by the community it will serve, will incorporate energy-efficient technology into a design derived from the Colorado Plateau’s Navajo culture – a two-story Hogan exhibit hall with an attached rectangular building for staff, shop/storage, and conference/classroom space. The facility will include:
• State-of-the-art teaching and conference space for 150 people.
• Separate small classroom and field laboratory.
• Small library and technology/computer center.
• Exhibit hall with hands-on interactive displays, experiments and activities.
• Observatory and telescope for night sky viewing.
• Space to design and build exhibits.
• Greenhouse to serve as a ‘living botanical laboratory’.
• Modified climbing/ bouldering wall.
• Small “Discovery Theater” for special science experiments and presentations.
• Small Discovery Store
• Warehouse, shop, and storage space.
• Outside teaching and learning areas, with picnic and playground areas, and
• Computer infrastructure to store research data generated by residents, researchers and staff while working with the Discovery Center.