CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) — 18 News along with Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield is honoring Science and Discovery Center as this month’s Non-Profit Organization of the Month.

Science and Discovery Center has been operating since 1994. The organization has been teaching students in the Twin Tiers – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM).

“Science and discovery center is an organization in support of formal science education,” said Bruce McLaren, Lead Educator at Science and Discovery Center. “What we do is put hands-on programs together and bring them out to schools and clubs and community centers. We do preschool programs, elementary schools, middle school programs so all those ages–pretty wide range of ages.”

Bruce McLaren has been working for SDC since 2002. He told 18 News the center has multiple programs that involve all forms of science.

“We have programs involving microscopes and looking at microscopic organisms- chemistry- physics, engineering, pretty much anything you can think of,” McLaren said. “You have an interest, we probably have something ready to go.”

Science and Discovery Center also has a mobile lab to drive to schools or community groups that is packed with a unique way of learning.

The organization receives funds from a number of places like Corning Incorporated, one of the centers biggest supporters. The SDC received their first major donation from Wegmans in the 90’s.

The supermarket chain donated $25,000 to the organization. Wegmans also donated $25,000 in non-monetary donations in advertising, special events and programs for the center.

“There are also grants that we apply for regularly,” McLaren said.

Many schools were forced to move remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The SDC adapted to the challenge of no longer being able to hold in-person lessons with the help of technology.

“We have had to figure out different ways to bring different science programs out,” McLaren said. “We’ve had to equip our office with cameras and editing facilities and make sure our WIFI is good and ready to go. And set everything up so we can do our programs from here, and connect to all the schools, one classroom at a time or a couple of classes together. So far it’s been going pretty well.”

McLaren said virtual lessons are not ideal.

“It’s not as good as doing hands on,” McLaren said. “Got to get kids to get their hands wet, get their hands dirty so they can really see the process evolve. This is the next best thing and we’ve been pretty busy.”

For more information about the Science and Discovery Center, click here.

If you would like to nominate a non-profit for next month’s Non-Profit Organization of the Month, you can place your nominations here on our website.

WETM Non-Profit Spotlight is sponsored By Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield