Get in the Game

Taukiya Williams

The Discovery Center, right across from Tuscawilla Park, located at 701 NE Sanchez Ave. Ocala, FL 34470, is known for its engaging education experiences for the youth and adults.They hold four different interactive displays a year.

Recently, they opened a new exhibit called Get in the Game where you can interact with several large versions of classic board games, like Candy Land, Connect Four, Tinker Toys, and more. I spoke to the exhibit supervisor, Kate Messenger, who gave me some insight as to how everything got to where it is now.

Last year, Messenger came across a company that manufactured giant versions of Battleship and Light Bright. The Science Center wanted to add the science concept to it. With the physics of light with the Light Bright, structural engineering with Jenga, gravity along with Ker-Plunk, and a few others, they’ve been linked together to make the learning experience fun.

“The challenge with putting together an exhibit is you need to have all the components of the display on time and in order,” said Messenger. “Project management is key. Every piece or station came from a different company. That being said, it had to be put together with a lot of research, like finding cut-out pieces of Candy Land figures.”

Her main goal was making sure the community would have a good time and learn more about the different sciences behind the activities without hurting themselves. This exhibit is recommended to families with young children and adults who are young at heart. It is very nostalgic to see the board games we use to play, but life size.

A lot of new projects are coming up. There’s a new exhibit in the works called Mad Lab opening Oct. 13th through the end of December, which is 200 years of mad science.

“This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, so we decided to take that idea make an exhibit around it,” Messenger said. “We took a bunch of the different science concepts that Shelley was inspired to write Frankenstein by and put them in an exhibit.”

The Program Leader, Malcolm Harris, spoke about the summer camp programs they have for the junior ages eight to 11 and senior ages 12 to 15. The programs help the kids stay involved in learning interactively about science.

Harris is a teacher for after school and summer programs. He teaches biology, physics, LEGO robotics, and anatomy for the community at fair prices that cover everything, which are all new this year.

The Discovery Science Center is a great community outreach to help the kids and students learn a more hands-on approach into the world of science.

The prices are $6 per person or $20 for a family of four. The Science Center holds StarLab Planetarium shows where you can go inside a dome, see the stars, learn about them and see fun slideshows every Saturday at 11 a.m. & 1 p.m. for an additional $3. The Get in the Game exhibit is running now until September 29th and is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All of this information can be found on the Discovery Center website at or call at (352)401-3900.


Story and photos by: Taukiya Williams