The Impact of a Regional Science Center in Loudoun County

A large-scale, interactive Regional Science Center is being proposed and planned by the Children’s Science Center, a local non-profit that currently reaches 70,000 visitors annually at both the Lab, the region’s first hands-on STEM museum facility located in Fairfax County, and through out-reach programs across the region. The Regional Science Center will be located on donated land at Kincora in Dulles, Virginia at the intersection of Routes 7 and 28.

By providing the region’s children with exposure to the sciences in an informal and self-directed setting at this most critical, formative period in their intellectual development, the Regional Science Center will be a major building block in the educational ecosystem that complements the Loudoun County’s elementary- and secondary-level STEM-education programs. Having this broad-based STEM education ecosystem will further strengthen Loudoun County’s competitiveness with is peers in attracting and retaining the resident workforce—the talent— required to support an advanced knowledge-base economy. This has taken on even greater importance as the Washington Region’s economy has experienced slower growth due to cutbacks in federal spending since 2010 and given local and state efforts to reduce the region’s dependency on federal spending by diversifying the economy by building on its export-based, high-value added, nonfederally dependent business clusters for which it has a competitive advantage in the global marketplace. Developing, attracting and retaining STEM-educated workers have been identified as being essential to successfully growing the Washington region’s technology-intensive economy going forward.

The Stephen S. Fuller Institute at the Schar School of Policy and Government, GMU examined the potential economic benefits of a Regional Science Center in two reports. The first examines its ability to make the region more competitive in training and retaining STEM workers and companies. The second estimates that the Center will contribute a total of $83.8 million to the Loudoun County economy.

A Regional Science Center Will Make Northern Virginia and Loudoun County More Competitive For Economic Growth, January 2018
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The Economic Impact of the Proposed Regional Science Center on Loudoun County, Northern Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia, January 2018
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