With attendance soaring in the wake of the pandemic, Discovery World, 500 N. Harbor Dr., has made some changes and is, beginning on Monday, June 5, open seven days a week.
“We are growing every day,” wrote President and CEO Bryan Wunar in the science center’s 2022 annual report. "Attendance and membership numbers not only reached, but exceeded our annual projections for 2022.”
And Public Relations Manager Paul Fladten said that this past March saw the highest attendance ever in a month at Discovery World.
Fladten added that the 2018 events space addition gets use pretty much every day and many days there are multiple events in the glassy room.
The venue will be open every single day from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
In addition to the launch of the popular annual summer camp programming, which begins June 12 and runs through Aug. 26, with more than 100 offerings, Discovery World also has a new solar array on two of its rooftops.
The main building and the attached events space addition are covered with 650 panels and they’re adding a new E-cacia solar tree, too, in partnership with We Energes.
“The solar tree,” said Fladten, “is designed to improve the aesthetic of solar power projects and complements the surroundings of Milwaukee’s lakefront.”
The energy created by the panels will go to the We Energies grid, according to Fladten.
There are also some new gallery and exhibit updates, too, including Block Party, located in the mezzanine gallery that was created from former office space that previously housed temporary exhibitions on health care and sports.
This time there’s a giant Lite-Brite-like activity and a big open space filled with foam blocks and shapes to encourage play that will test and inspire design and engineering skills.
There’s also some much-needed seating for parents who need to rest their weary legs, and some bright, Milwaukee-themed panels designed by Discovery World's Lily Johnson that add a dash of color to the space.
From up here you’ll get a great view out over the lakefront and the exhibit spaces below.
Meanwhile, down in the aquarium, a former kids’ lab space is now the “Me, Undersea” exhibit, which allows exploration and a deeper dive into the world beneath the waves.
Microscopes offer up-close views of micro-organisms, an audio area lets visitors hear the different undersea sounds, and there are exhibits on Remote Operated Vehicles and even a bioluminescence and camouflage space.
And, as ever, there are great hands-on fun learning experiences throughout the museum for kids of all ages – even adult kids like me. And while you’re there, don’t miss the “Les Paul’s House of Sound” exhibit, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, too.
"What Discovery World looks like is being reimagined, stronger and better than ever," wrote Wunar, "to make sure you, the children, the families, and the communities served all have a top notch experience."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.