Street Address
1200 Streit
Amarillo, TX 79106
Mailing Address
1200 Streit
Amarillo, TX 79106
phone: 806-355-9547
fax: 806-355-5703
$5.00 per person, members free
Museum Type(s)
Dr. Aaron Pan, Executive Director
phone: 806-355-9547
Liz Bentley, Director of Development
phone: 806-355-9547
Bridget Gervasi, Administrative Manager
phone: 806-355-9547
Mandi Ried, Director of Visitor Experience
phone: 806-355-9547
Douglas L. Holeman, Senior Science Guide
Hillary Patak, Reservations/Group Visits
phone: 806-355-9547 x107
Daniel Ramos, Building Superintendent
Catherine Reyna, Graphic Artist


The Discovery Center has recently expand to include an additional 16,000 square feet of exhibit space including a helium area, weather center and a extensive marine biology area. The Discovery Center is also looking to the future with new permanent exhibits including: Simple Machines (an interactive look at how simple machine help make work eaiser) and the Hall of Inventors which looks at a variety of men and women who have made significant scientific contributions.

In additon to the new exhibit space there is a 100-seat auditorium and 4,000 square foot party room, Celebration Station available for receptions, banquets and parties. The existing planterium and exhibit hall are still a focal point of the Discovery Center. With over 100 hands-on exhibits, a tiny town area for our smallest scientist and ever changing planterium shows, the Wilson Wing is fun for all ages.


The mission of the Don Harrington Discovery Center (DHDC) is "To build knowledge and understanding of science andits impact on our lives, our community, and our world. We are didicated to fostering curiosity, wonder, and the skills of minds and will that fuel the human imagination to probe mysteries byond the limits of the known." DHDC has been a provider of science and health educational programming and hands-on science experimentation since 1985. Because DHDC is the only science center serving a vast geographic area cover three states (Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle, and Eastern New Mexico), we offer the unique ability to make a positive impact on a large constituency composed of persons from widely differnt ethnic and racial backgrounds. DHDC maintains six primany objective/goals each year.

1) Inspire elementary age children to appreciate the nature of science and our natural world through interactive hands-on science discovery.

2) Involve family members and the community in the development of both the learning process and the love of scientific experimenation for each child.

3) Provide all students, urban and rural, with opportunities for hands-on scientific experimentation.

4) Better prepare teachers through pre-service programs to present science education to children.

5) Help teachers become more familiar and comfortable with science education through shared experiences with educators, university instructors, andpracticing scientists.

6) Develop a cooperative leadership role for area universities, university graduate students, medical facilities, andscience industries with regargs to science education in our region.

Located in Amarillo's Harrington Regional Medical Center, DHDC collaborates closely with medical and scientific institutions such as athe Texas A&M University Agricultural Center. Within proximity to other inhabitants of the Medical Center Park, DHDC has access to specialized equipment for concentrated programs such as an electron microscope from the Texas Tech Medical School, habitat specific greenhouses at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, and nature walks at Wildcat Bluff and Palo Duro Canyon State Park. IN addition, DHDc utilized the nature walk and lake system in the Medical Center Park for educational programs such as plant diversity, pond life, and seasonal change.

DHDC's facilities include a 40-foot planetarium which seats 84 persons; a publicly accessible solar telescope; 33,000 square feet for participatroy exhibits in the life and physical sciences. In June 2000, DHDC expanded its original structure by 32,000 square feet. The new wing houses traveling and permanent exhibits, a multi-media auditorium for 100 persons, and a complete workshop for building and repairing exhibits.

Artifacts Collections

The Discovery Center has one collection of artifacts, slides, photographs, posters and documents from the Helium Plant which was located just west of Amarillo. Amarillo is known as the helium capital of the world and this collection represents a large part of the history of helium.

Educational Programs

The DHDC presents programs for all levels, but primarily for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. All programs are hands-on. Classes are organized so that the children listen to a 10-15 minute presentation and then go to various stations to do a hands-on activity. These programs are correlated to Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills. The museum will send out a pre-activity packet with the confirmation and will distribute post-activity handouts.

The museum presents electric shows on static electricity for large groups.

In the fall and spring, during the Week of Discovery event, and the Week of the Young Child, the museum presents an in-house outreach for preschoolers (three-, four-, and five-year-olds).

Overnight Discovery is offered to girl scout troops. There are three workshops (twoscience hands-on and one planetarium), and the girls spend the night in the museum.

The Programs department also offers the"Discovery-to-Go" outreach program where our educators can bring exciting and interesting activities and demonstrations to an outside location. This includes a portable planetarium.

Programs not available for tour/loan; resource books and lesson plans are general enough to use by other institutions.

The Discovery Center offers summer science Camp opportunities for 1/2 - full day for five consecutive days at a time, 3-4 weeks of camp are offered each summer.

The Discovery Center offers educational classes for pre-K through 6th grades for $40 per class. The Discovery Center also offers special plantarium shows for $50 per class.


Quarterly newsletter, annual report, Starry Messenger quarterly (planetarium), annual general program guide, opening flyers, posters, signs, advertisements, notices