The Roper Mountain Science Center, part of Greenville County Schools, reopened its doors June 1 after months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as renovations that have taken place across the property. Roper Mountain’s Summer Adventure kicks off its return where visitors can explore several facilities for hands-on learning, including the new Environmental Science and Sustainability Center that sits where the amphitheater used to be.
“While kids make up about 25% of our population, they’re 100% of our future, so here at Roper Mountain, students, kids, learners of all ages get the opportunity to not just read about science, but to experience science, to be immersed in science, and to get excited by it,” said Michael Weeks, executive director.
Visitors can explore the Be The Dinosaur traveling exhibit, which combines video game technology with current science for a hands-on learning experience. This complements a new Dinosaur Trail featuring realistic dinosaur models.
The permanent exhibitions include the Orientation and Habitat Overview detailing local nature. Sustainable Future, presented by Fluor, provides opportunities for visitors to test their sustainability knowledge, and Our Water Story presented by Greenville Water examines the local watershed.
Roper Mountain’s assistant director Thomas Riddle said there’s a responsibility to understand sustainability practices. “This is a chance for us to just remind the community, let’s do it in a very intentional way, in a way in which we take care of each other, and the environment,” he said. Riddle added Greenville County Schools put $12 million toward renovations while $4 million was additionally raised for exhibitions.
The Environmental Science and Sustainability Center also features the Nature Exchange, where visitors can trade collected natural objects — shells, pine cones or even photos featuring nature — for points and trade for an object.
Other spaces such as the Harrison Hall of Natural Science will be open for visitors to see several types of habitats. The Living History Farm features log cabins, a barn, a blacksmith shop, a one-room schoolhouse and other structures demonstrating life in the 1800s.
The Summer Adventure hours are from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, $10 for ages 4-12 and for those 60 and older. Children 3 and under are free.
“I think that Roper Mountain serves as a hub for the next generation of scientists who are going to serve not only in Greenville but across the state and across the country,” Weeks said.
Find out more at: https://www.ropermountain.org/.