After six years and several roadblocks, even some from Mother Nature, Kopernik Observatory & Science Center's new Science Park is open!

Photo courtesy Kopernik Observatory & Science Center/ Junior League of Binghamton

Kopernik Director, Drew Deskur is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up, to give an overview of the project undertaken by the science center and the Junior League of Binghamton to build a play area that is not only fun but embraces the life-long joy of learning through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

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The new space is designed to be accessible and enjoyed by children of all ages and abilities and playfully explains scientific concepts like the fulcrum through something as simple as the basic see-saw.

The pandemic was only one of the obstacles to the completion of the playground.  There was funding and the actual property itself, which is home to a natural spring that created a swamp.  So, when nature gives you a swamp, what do you do?  Well, Deskur says, you make a pond that attracts all sorts of animals, of course!

While the Observatory remains closed, the playground is open with proper pandemic precautions like distancing and wearing masks and plans continue for another phase of the outdoor space.  Funds are being accepted to help Kopernik make it through the trying times and continue its online programming.

Information on helping the facilities on Underwood Road in Vestal can be found at the Kopernik Observatory and Science Center website and many past programs can be found at the Kopernik YouTube channel.

You can hear Southern Tier Close Up Saturdays at  6 a.m. on 98.1 The Hawk.