Our Mission: To inspire the discovery of science through hands-on experiences
Our Vision: To be the foremost regional experience that inspires the scientist in everyone
Gateway to Science began as the vision of community volunteers passionate about bringing informal science learning opportunities to people of all ages in North Dakota. In November 1994, Bismarck became the home of the first and only hands-on science center in North Dakota. Since that time, we have established a reputation as an educational resource for our community and region.
Gateway to Science Mission Moment
Sofia was the first Gateway to Science member to arrive at our Spring STEM Spectacular. She bounded into the science center with her family, decked out in a NASA t-shirt and a jacket with NASA patches, ready to explore the GeoDome and our Earth & Space activities. Sofia has participated in a wide variety of Gateway to Science programming, from STEM Adventure Camp in the summer to mini-camps on school holidays to free family events throughout the year.
Sofia thinks Gateway to Science is important because “it helps people learn about science and how to think about the world around us and why things are the way they are.” In other words, Gateway to Science helps everyone think like a scientist. She appreciates the supportive, friendly staff at the science center. Sofia’s favorite exhibits in our gallery are the brain teasers and the habitat for Scout, our bearded dragon. When asked about STEM Adventure Camp, she points to designing and building projects in our Maker Space as a highlight, along with meeting new people and getting to try and learn a variety of new things. In addition to camp programming, Sofia enjoys Gateway to Science family events because she can participate in hands-on activities with her younger sister.
Sofia’s parents value Gateway to Science because “it’s an environment in which our daughter feels safe to test ideas and concepts. It has become an integral part of her educational experience.” Educational Outreach Director Courtney Stoltz has witnessed Sofia’s growth in Gateway to Science programming. “She’s a problem-solver who doesn’t give up or get discouraged when something doesn’t work on the first, or even fifth, try. Sofia shares what she knows not only with other students but with me; that really adds to the atmosphere of STEM learning.” Gateway to Science is helping Sofia, and many youth like her, develop 21st century skills and a passion for scientific inquiry.