The Don Harrington Discovery Center has been officially accepted into the nationally recognized No Excuses University program.

The DHDC has spent about two years preparing and tailoring its offerings to become an NEU-affiliated facility.

“We are the first science center in the country to be part of No Excuses University,” said Kyle Hadley, director of education for the center. “The broad idea of No Excuses is, ‘What is your plan? Where are you going to go?'”

The mission of the educational science center, located at 1200 Streit Drive, is to spark curiosity, inspire lifelong learning and bring families and communities closer together.

Hadley said the center has more than 250 hands-on laboratories.

He said the staff is excited about learning because most of them are either part-time or full-time college students.

If you’ve been inside one of the nearly 25 elementary-, middle- or high-school campuses in the Amarillo area that are a part of the NEU program, you’ll see an emphasis on college education. Classroom doors, the cafeteria, the gymnasium, common areas, as well as the teachers themselves are adorned in gear, colors, and merchandise that represent colleges and universities from all over the country. The concept, to make sure each and every child is planning for their next step after graduation that includes some kind of secondary education, is meant to be the main focus at every NEU campus.

According to its website,, No Excuses University Network of Schools is a "diverse and dynamic association of like-minded schools and education organizations from across the United States. The network is united by the belief that all children, even those who live in poverty or who are learning English, can be academically successful and attend college."

Each student is taught that to earn a livable wage, secondary education is required, whether that is a certification program, the military, or an associate's, undergraduate or graduate degree.

Although the DHDC is not a school, the NEU founders realized the kind of positive impact that a science museum like the DHDC can make on students and the community.

The exposure to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers can be introduced to children while they are there with their schools on a field trip, or there with their families on the weekends.

“We are very excited that we are the first science museum to be part of the No Excuses University Network," said DHDC Executive Director Dr. Aaron Pan. "Our mission and vision of lifelong learning, bringing communities closer together, and fostering the learning of science fits well with the goals of NEU. We believe we can highlight the importance of science-focused careers, which are vital to our society and provide livable wages.”

For more information about the center, call 806-355-9547.