Discovery Dock Preview

There will soon be an exciting new destination to spark the imaginations of Seacoast Science Center’s youngest visitors.

In March 2018, the Center will unveil the Discovery Dock Early Learning Activity Center, a working waterfront themed exhibit designed to be a safe and engaging place for curious children. Here, they will enjoy age-appropriate activities designed by our education staff for the developmental needs of children under 5 years old. This exhibit will offer fun, hands-on, play-based activities intended to support the cognitive and motor skills development necessary for children in the pre-Kindergarten age bracket.

The Discovery Dock Early Learning Center is set in Rye Harbor, NH. Mural-sized photographs of Rye Harbor, provided by renowned (and local) conservation photographer Jerry Monkman, provide the backdrop for the exhibit space. The wall treatment technology and Jerry’s generosity allows us to change the backdrop from winter to summer and back again, creating a timely, local context in place and season.

The Discovery Dock will feature 3 engaging permanent stations, which support rotating temporary activities and provide the perfect backdrop for facilitated programs for our pre-K guests and their parents/guardians. The Dockside Market is a stylized fishermen’s co-op, where kids can unload the day’s catch, sort by shape and color, and use the cash register to make a sale. The entrance to the Discovery Dock features a mock intertidal touch tank where kids can become acquainted with the forms and names of common intertidal animals while learning the importance of handling them in a gentle, respectful manner. Perhaps the most anticipated highlight of the exhibit is our new Play Boat. Here, the captain and crew will suit up in their Grundens and set off for imagined adventures at sea aboard a pint-sized fishing vessel. Limited only by their imaginations, kids could jig for mackerel, haul a trap. or give a shout over the radio as they head back in to tie up at the Discovery Dock.

Components of the exhibit are being built completely on site by some of our talented staff members. Here is a sneak peek at the work in progress:

Work began by removing the old flooring and fixtures

Staffers Ron and Rob started building the fishing boat

The boat was trimmed out and sanded, ready for paint

A glossy white paint job shows off the details of the boat

Volunteer Mike and staffer Ron build the fish market counter

Director of Exhibits Jeremy LeClair checks placement of fish market counter and intertidal touch tank

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