Science Centers

The Forge

Science Museum of Virginia

The Forge is part maker space, part interactive exploration, part community innovation sandbox. Covering more than 7,000 square feet, this innovative project leverages the institution’s exemplary community partnerships, multifaceted events, and nimble science communications channels to extend their brand and mission well beyond traditional exhibits and programs.


  • Robust skill-based learning with tools and materials.
  • Unique project-based activity model, maximizing staff impact.
  • Strongly connected to community partners in STEM.
  • Innovative “maker 2.0” scaffolding and depth.
The Forge Spread 1

Designed upon a platform of extensive field research into community, university and museum-based fab labs and maker environments, The Forge aims to address many of the limitations typical of staff-led, technology-centered spaces. The Forge goes well beyond the acquisition of 3D printers to create a layered series of entry points and programs to build visitors into participants, and participants into collaborators.

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Central to The Forge philosophy are making connections, so that the experiences here do not live in a vacuum. Schools use The Forge to extend the capabilities of the classroom. Families use The Forge to learn skills they can apply to in-home projects. Partners use The Forge to showcase how STEM skills matter in the university and the workplace.