Discovery World

2018 Nonprofit Excellence Awards

Joel Brennan

Nonprofit of the Year – Large Winner

Joel Brennan

Discovery World

500 N. Harbor Dr., Milwaukee

With baby boomers in STEM occupations retiring at a high rate, fostering interest among today’s youth in STEM career opportunities is vital for the nation’s future workforce.

Since the 1980s, Discovery World has been inspiring generations of engineers, scientists and inventors. In 2006, the center relocated to 500 N. Harbor Dr., a new 120,000-square-foot building on the lakefront. The Reiman Aquarium and other exhibits at the museum (including the new Power On exhibit) focus on freshwater sciences, physics, technology and engineering, and educate students about careers in these fields.

To better serve its visitors, the organization is investing $18 million on improvements, including a 10,000-square-foot addition to function as a multi-purpose space for travelling exhibits, a lunchroom for student groups, and a venue for catered events.

According to Joel Brennan, Discovery World CEO, the organization’s goal is “to make sure there is a robust pipeline for workers in STEM industries in the Milwaukee area. We’re trying to help young people envision themselves in these future careers.”

“We work at the front end of the STEM workforce pipeline. There are a number of jobs in the STEM pipeline, like computer science and engineering, where women are only about 20 percent of the workforce. That’s not good enough.”

– Joel Brennan, CEO, Discovery World

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