Kopernik Science Park completes science-themed playground

In partnership with the Junior League of Binghamton, Kopernik Observatory & Science Centre, based in Vestal, New York, US, has been working to build a science-themed playground on its grounds.

In June 2017, the Science Park received a $100,000 grant through the Gannett Foundation’s ‘USA TODAY Network A Community Thrives’ competition. The nationwide crowdfunding and grant program supports non-profit and municipal organizations with projects aimed at building their communities.

The $535,000 interactive park features a whispering dish, atom climber and slide, a math grid, a balance beam, telescope mounts, a graviton spinner, a suspension bridge, a play pyramid, a challenge course, a kinetic wind sculpture, an ant farm web and a ropes challenge

In a post on the Kopernik website, a representative said: “This was a huge effort from a committee of dedicated volunteers with great vision and big hearts. Our local foundations and businesses stood with us and donated money to pursue this idea. Our volunteers wrote grants and worked with New York State Parks to get this project funded. We also competed for and were awarded grants from national organisations. Our community supported us and that’s how a small town like ours was able to raise big funds and support this awesome project.

“We never envisioned completing this playground during a pandemic. When the world shut down in March, we had just ordered our playground equipment. We had to wait out delays in manufacturing and delays in construction.”

Construction of the playground is now complete and attendees are asked to wear masks and maintain physical distancing.

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