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The Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center (KAYSC) was created in 1996 to encourage young people to engage in experiential learning that developed their confidence in and appreciation for STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Central to this approach was providing a safe, welcoming and supportive environment that encouraged participants in the endeavors.

The KAYSC seeks to promote the healthy development of youth by involving them in the process of science and providing them with opportunities to contribute to others while learning.

The Center is grounded in principles of positive youth development where an encouraging adult-youth relationship fosters interpersonal growth, develops confidence and builds a positive sense of self worth.

Since 1996, the KAYSC has evolved into one of the most admired museum-based youth programs in the country. The KAYSC was a charter member of YouthALIVE!, a national initiative of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). Through the national networking facilitated by YouthALIVE!, the KAYSC was widely acknowledged as a leader among museum programs.