Dear Members, Friends, and Colleagues,
On March 16, 2020, the Lawrence Hall of Science closed temporarily to visitors, based on guidance from health officials about how to curb the spread of COVID-19. Throughout, we have been closely monitoring the pandemic, public health recommendations, and the requirements of social distancing. After careful consideration, we have determined that The Lawrence will remain closed to the public until at least June 2021. We made this strategic decision to ensure that when we do open, we can do so safely with the kind of experiences that we are known for: hands-on, engaging, and high-quality visitor experiences.
While our building is closed to the public, we continue to advance our mission and to provide inspiring and engaging science-learning experiences. In fact, we are hard at work designing new approaches to fostering hands-on, interactive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences that can be done in a manner consistent with social distancing guidelines in your home, community, and outdoors.
Here are some opportunities you can expect from us while our building is closed to the public:
- Outdoor, pop-up science learning activities in your community and on our plaza, designed to support social distancing
- Free online offerings (activities, videos, and apps) featuring our amazing science center staff—and beloved animals!—on the Lawrence at Home site
- Interactive, hands-on, online STEM distance learning offerings for youth with our excellent educational team, beginning this summer and continuing beyond
- Opportunities for special online events
- Engaging products (including an expanded set of home science kits) for sale via our Discovery Corner Store online
Furthermore, while the building is closed, we will be getting ready to welcome you back. Exciting facilities upgrades are under way, including: rewiring the building to improve connectivity; refreshing our public spaces with new flooring, paint, signage, and furniture; designing and developing new exhibits and activities—including a new Outdoor Nature Lab on our classroom level; plus a few even more exciting surprises! The extended closure will allow us to complete these projects efficiently and to undertake several ambitious projects that have been under consideration for some years. We can’t wait to welcome visitors back to a fully refreshed, exciting facility once the public health crisis has passed.
We know that The Lawrence has long been a treasured place in the community. We look forward to sharing behind-the-scenes progress reports on our major initiatives, engaging you throughout, and seeing you outdoors in the community. We are confident that the decision to temporarily close our facility to the public is in the best interest of The Lawrence’s visitors and staff, as well as the best path toward a vibrant and sustainable future for us all.
With hope and gratitude,
Rena Dorph, PhD Director, The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
What will happen to my Membership?
We will be transitioning to a "virtual membership," with new benefits that can be enjoyed while our building is closed. Visit our Membership page.
Are school programs continuing?
We continue to work closely with many schools and districts but are not taking field trip reservations or offering in-person outreach programs. However, we are busy creating engaging online programs for schools to support distance learning.
Can I still host my event at The Lawrence?
We are not currently accepting inquiries or reservations for renting the science center for private events.
How can I get updates on reopening?
Throughout our closure we'll be sending out regular updates on new programs, progress of our renovations, and more. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest news.