Simplified: Marketbeat and Dakota State University are teaming up with the Washington Pavilion to renovate the entire first floor of the Kirby Science Discovery Center. Here’s what you need to know about the new “Space and Technology Floor.”

Why it matters

  • This is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the public university, a private company and the Pavilion nonprofit, Pavilion President and CEO Darrin Smith said during a press conference Thursday.
  • DSU students and faculty will be involved in the design process to create the exhibits for the space and technology floor. The goal is to have hands-on exhibits geared toward elementary and middle school kids.
  • The renovation announcement comes as two other major construction projects for the Pavilion are already underway. The cinedome is being transformed into a $2 million state-of-the-art planetarium, and the little kid water playroom is being completely redone as well.
"We kind of focus on the physical exhibits, but it's really what happens in this space on a daily basis with parents, kids, grandparents – that's what's special, what makes this place a special place to come," Smith said, adding that having DSU students and faculty in the mix will make it all the more special.

How did this partnership come together?

For DSU, it’s all about education – specifically a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math).

“We are grateful for this rare opportunity to extend and share our technology-focused mission through unique, interactive and fun educational exhibits,” DSU President José-Marie Griffiths said.

For Marketbeat, it’s about aligning with the mission of STEAM education. Marketbeat Founder and CEO Matt Paulson said in a world where costs are continually increasing, nonprofits need to get creative with funding.

“You need to find allies with a common mission to get things done,” Paulson said.

What will the project cost?

The combined investment from Marketbeat and DSU is $375,000. That’ll fund the redesign and construction of the floor as well as some ongoing programming.

What happens next?

The design happens this year, with DSU’s help, and installation is expected to be done sometime in 2024.

The other two projects are already underway and expected to be done sooner – with the immersive water exhibit coming in early summer and the planetarium set to open in August, Smith said.