Making learning accessible at the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion

Making learning accessible at the new Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion

With the snip of a ribbon, the Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion is ready to open the doors to its 67,000-square-foot facility. 

The Da Vinci Center had been housed at Cedar Crest College for the last 18-plus years, offering engaging learning opportunities through a series of exhibits. The new location in downtown Allentown offers twice the space, and twice the fun. 

“I have been waiting for the moment when I can see kids, families and teachers interacting with the experience,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of the Da Vinci Science Center. “We’ve been working really hard to raise money and design exhibits, and it’s all about the impact and how the community engages with the experiences.” 

A walk through the two-story center is a scientific adventure. There are numerous exhibits designed to teach visitors about topics that are relevant to our everyday lives – health, biology and the environment, to name a few – including one of our own. 

A group of three kids learning with PPL Electric's new solar panel exhibit.

Situated along the back wall on the first floor, our exhibit features an interactive lesson in how solar energy can power a home. Using light from the ceiling, visitors control a series of mirrors to reflect light on to a number of solar panels. Each panel powers a different room or appliance within the home, simulating how sunlight can charge our lives. Walking along the back wall, children and adults alike can read about the power of electricity, and some of the careers at PPL Electric Utilities that help keep the lights on every day. 

It’s been really fun working with local companies like PPL and tapping into their expertise to develop these exhibits,” Erickson said. 

PPL has been a longtime partner with the science center, and we are thrilled to continue this relationship in a new space. We believe supporting a strong foundation in STEM education is critical to the success of today’s students and it helps create the highly skilled workforce of the future. We also believe this learning should be accessible to all. 

We want to encourage access to STEM programs for all students,” said Lissette Santana, senior manager of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. “One of our requests was to make sure that this world-class science center was accessible to the community; we want people who live and work in the area to come and enjoy this space, regardless of income.” 

After 18-plus years at its old location, the Da Vinci Science Center is excited for fun and education at PPL Pavilion for generations to come. 

“Thanks to PPL’s and many others’ support, we’ve built a science center for our children and grandchildren,” Erickson said. “And it will be right here in the Lehigh Valley; that is so cool.”