Fort Discovery says farewell


Children and adults took their last glides Friday on the gravity-defying Moon Walk, their last spins on the revolving Human Gyro and their last yells into the Echo Tube at the National Science Center's Fort Discovery.

On the center's last day of business, families filtered through the two floors of science exhibits, and staff said goodbye.

After 13 years, the educational center closed its doors Friday as part of a restructuring plan that will move its headquarters to Washington, D.C.

The move leaves Augusta without a science center and will put the 19 Fort Discovery employees out of work.

"We were very dedicated and committed to Fort Discovery," said the center's controller, Paige Tom. "I'm going to miss the co-workers and the sound of children. It just brings life to the place."

Donnie Tomlinson learned of the shutdown while visiting from Hiawassee, Ga., with his son, Roman.

"I've only been here 30 minutes, and I see a lot I like," Tomlinson said. "They probably get more out of here than they do in actual school."

And in the PowerStation, where staff performs live science demonstrations, Joshua Bush, 21, stood before his audience for the last time. He showed giggling children how to make a kazoo out of a straw and how to shatter glass with acoustics.

As he finished and waved goodbye, he caught himself saying what he wished could have been true for another 13 years.

"Thanks for coming! Please come ba -- oh, wait."