Don Harrington Discovery Center

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Don Harrington Discovery Center
Don harrington discovery center in amarillo texas usa.jpg
Front entrance before renovated in 2003.
Don Harrington Discovery Center is located in Texas
Don Harrington Discovery Center
Location in Texas
Location Amarillo, Texas
Coordinates 35°12′00″N 101°54′48″W / 35.199943°N 101.913297°W / 35.199943; -101.913297
Type Science museum
Visitors 425/day
Director Dr. Aaron Pan
President Wendi Swope

Don Harrington Discovery Center is an interactive science center in Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A., with hands-on science exhibits and a planetarium. The Discovery Center is located in the city's hospital district and is named after philanthropist Don Harrington.[1]

Located in front of the Discovery Center is the Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument. The planetarium was renovated in 2003 and was implemented with the Digistar 3, fulldome video projection technology.[2]

Most of the Discovery Center's income comes from admission fees, membership fees and sales of gift shop items and concessions, while the rest comes from charitable organizations such as Amarillo Area Foundation and the Harrington Foundation.[3]

The Discovery center is a member of the Association of Children's Museums Reciprocal Program and Association of Science-Technology Centers Passport Program, allowing members to receive free or reduced admission at various museums all across America.[4]

Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument[edit]

The Helium Monument & Time Capsule is located in front of the Don Harrington Discovery Center

The Helium Centennial Time Columns Monument was designed in 1967 by Peter Muller Munk Associates (located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and built in 1968 with the assistance of U.S. Steel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of helium.[5][6] The Time Columns Monument is a six-story high stainless steel structure containing four time capsules, three of which form the legs of the monument and one which stands erect. The capsules are intended to be opened in 25, 50, 100, and 1,000 years from the date it was erected in 1968. In 1982 the Helium Monument was airlifted by helicopter from I-40 and Nelson to its current site at the Don Harrington Discovery Center. In 1993, the first time capsule was opened, on schedule, during a two-day celebration of the 25th birthday of the monument. The contents of that capsule are in the collection of the Discovery Center, and are not typically on display to the public. Among the most interesting things stored within the monument is the passbook in the 1,000 year capsule to a bank account with a $10 deposit. The next time capsule will open in 2018.

The monument also serves as a sun dial, its features oriented to the sun to tell the time.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schwarz, George (June 26, 2005). "Medical care not hard to find". Amarillo Globe-News. 
  2. ^ "Information: Renovations complete on Space Theater". Amarillo Globe-News. July 24, 2003. 
  3. ^ Sepulveda, Sara (February 5, 2003). "Discovery Center unveils remodeling plans". Amarillo Globe-News. 
  4. ^ "MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION". Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  5. ^ Rohloff, Greg (May 19, 2000). "Amarillo Globe-News: History Makers: C.W. Seibel". Amarillo Globe-News. 
  6. ^ "Points of Interest". Amarillo Globe-News. September 30, 2005. Archived from the original on March 21, 2006. 

External links[edit]