FirstHand Lab: A Place for Lab Coat Moments

Creating a sense of place is an important concept to the Science Center. For example, Quorum, our entrepreneurs’ clubhouse, has an open collaborative feel, more white boards than walls and the best views you’ve seen all day. Our Port incubator was developed as a “plug and play” space for new businesses. So when we were piloting FirstHand programming, the idea of where programs would live became a unavoidable question.

It turns out the answer was quite simple. If our goal is to give curious minds access to the knowledge and resources of the Science Center, why not get literal? From there, the FirstHand Lab was born.

Converting a fully functional professional lab into a space for youth programming was an ambitious undertaking, but the value is undeniable. We’re placing students directly in the STEM ecosystem giving them an opportunity to expand their minds and imagination towards a promising career in the STEM workforce. While it might look like any old lab, the FirstHand lab is actually a place where kids can practice being scientists, technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians. It’s a place for those flashes of inspiration and clarity that we call Lab Coat Moments.