A Letter from President & CEO, Steve Hinkley


A Letter from President & CEO, Steve Hinkley

By Adventure Science Center

In 2020, we “celebrated” a major milestone – 75 years of service. Why the quotation marks? COVID. We planned. We canceled. We pivoted. We sought solace in passing hallway high fives – followed by hand sanitizer – and brief, mask-mouthed breakroom encouragements. 

We had big goals for 2020 and 2021, but the universe – or more specifically coronavirus – had other plans. Well before the pandemic, we recognized the science center’s need for new experiences, and we had created an ambitious roadmap in response. But, sometimes, roadmaps end up with far more hairpin turns than could have ever been imagined at the beginning of the journey. 

Now, the road ahead is evening out, thanks to generous support from our community, our members, and invaluable supporting partners. The roadmap is back in play - now more magnificent than before and well within reach, and we’re thrilled to announce what we have planned as we look Beyond 75. 

Over the next three years, more than 15,000 square feet of exhibit space at Adventure Science Center will evolve into more exciting experiences, breathing new life into our mission: to open every mind to the wonders of science and technology, fostering a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. 

The unveiling of the EY Sensory Room, Sudekum Planetarium laser system upgrade, and the installation of the adult changing table in March brought the first phase of significant improvements.

Here’s a breakdown of what’s next:

Spring/Summer 2022

  • Infinium Room, in collaboration with local digital art design group EAMOTION, will replace StarWalk on the second floor. This fully-immersive, permanent exhibit will have mirrored walls and ceiling that reflect an interactive video floor made up of 91 panels embedded with pressure sensors that respond to your presence and movement. The vibrant and dynamic visual content is synchronized to a 360° audio soundscape for an incomparable sensory experience.
  • Expansion of General + Innovation Incubator Operating Hours, starting this Memorial Day, Adventure Science Center will open its doors every Thursday – Monday morning at 9 am to give you an additional hour to begin your adventure. The science center will remain open until 6 pm on Saturdays and will otherwise close at 3 pm. Our high-tech makerspace, Innovation Incubator (i2), will also open five days a week starting Saturday, June 11. 

Fall 2022

  • Recycle Rainforest, created by Adventure Science Center and supported by AllianceBernstein, this completely original, temporary exhibit combines making, creating, and art with ecology and recycling/reuse. An 1800-square-foot fully recyclable/reusable “set” will simulate a rainforest environment, while an adjacent "Critter Build" area will provide guests with materials to construct rainforest-inspired creatures that can be added to the room. Educational signage and associated events will provide information about rainforest habitats, species that depend on rainforest habitats, recycling and its benefits, and upcycling/reuse. 
  • The Science of Climbing (working title) will replace MoonWalk on the first floor and give guests an active climbing experience while learning about the principles of anatomy, physics, and engineering that make rock climbing possible.  

Spring/Summer 2023

  • Destination Exploration, the science center’s dedicated area for explorers ages 5 years and under, will undergo a major renovation and upgrade while maintaining the essence of hands-on discovery and play for our youngest visitors.
  • Jack Wood Hall, this private space on the first floor will be fully modernized and transformed in an effort to ensure a truly state-of-the-art rental space for professional meetings, special events, birthday parties, and more. 

Summer 2024 

  • Health, Sports, and Human Performance (working title), Nashville has grown beyond Music City to become a global hub for cutting-edge healthcare and technology as well as a destination for premier sporting events. Looking through those lenses, HSHP will replace BodyQuest with 9,500 square feet of new exhibits that allow for in-depth exploration of human performance, the extraordinary feats our bodies are capable of, and the ways in which we care for our bodies to keep them performing at their peak. Thanks to generous support from HCA Healthcare & HCA Healthcare Foundation, this game-changing project is now officially underway. 

We are very excited about what lies ahead, and we ask you to join us as we create the science center this community needs and deserves. 

Steve Hinkley
President & CEO
Adventure Science Center




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