About Us

How do we keep curiosity and thirst for knowledge about our universe alive today? Our mission is to stir the imagination and vibrancy of our youth by supporting science reasoning. The strength of our great country is its ability to foster interest and maintain strength in science and technology. A first rate children’s learning venue supports that mission.

Play is how children interact with others and experience the world around them. It is experimenting, cooperating, observing, taking risks, achieving success, learning from failure, and, of course, having fun. Play provides opportunities for children to try new combinations of behaviors and observe results.

Science playgrounds encourage a degree of movement, noise, and full-body experiences. When working outdoors, children build a vocabulary of routines and experiences that relate to and enhance their understanding of their everyday physical world. Scientific play activities not only promote scientific learning, but also engender lifelong learning skills such as experimentation and teamwork.

The Garoon Gateway to Science is an outdoor, hands-on children’s science museum geared towards children ages 8 to 14. It is designed to accommodate school groups as well as family visitors. Children are encouraged to interact with the exhibits as they learn about the universe in an atmosphere that conveys wonder and delight. The Gateway consists of separate areas to illustrate basic physical phenomenon and is intended to accomplish the following:

  • Heighten awareness of the elements and forces of nature, and of the technologies that make use of them;
  • Provide a group of activities which can be experienced and interpreted in a variety of ways by a diverse group of users;
  • Create exhibits that children can interact with in ways that develop direct physical knowledge and encourage cooperative play; and
  • Attract new and repeat visitors with high profile and well-designed exhibitions.

The Gateway consists of a Court of Water, Court of Forces, Court of Energy, Court of Sound, Court of Motion, Court of Waves, Court of Vision and Court of Biology.

“My family was motivated to build the Gateway in an effort to instill in children a love of science,” said Philip Garoon. “We believe the world we live in today is a rapidly changing one, and our country can only remain great if it fosters in future generations an interest and curiosity in science and technology.”

Garoon Gateway to Science Executive Staff and Board of Directors

  • *Philip Garoon, B.S.C. Chairman
  • *Howard Garoon, B.S.E. President
  • *Lisa Garoon, M.B.A., C.P.A., J.D. Vice President, Financial Resources
  • *Nanci Garoon Leigner, M.B.A. Vice President, Public Affairs/Communication
  • *Martin Levine, M.S.W. Vice President, Operations and Events
  • Gayle Malvin, M.S.W. Vice President, Projects and Applications
  • Daniel Weinbach, R.L.A. Vice President, Design and Production
  • *Jeane Greenbaum, B.A., M.A.T. Administrative Associate
  • *Jason C. Widdes, B.S., M.A.T. Editor, Administrative Associate
  • Michelle Widdes, B.A., M.A.T. Associate Editor
  • *Thomas Maksud Operations Associate
  • *Robert Mohr Operations Associate
  • *Thomas Mohr Operations Associate

*Member of Executive Board

Advisory Board

  • Bill Ferguson, R.L.A. – Planning and Development Associate
  • Alan J. Friedman, Ph.D., Museum Development & Science Communication
  • Tim Holdsworth, Administration, Science Projects Ltd., Acton, London
  • Martin Levine, M.S.W., General Director, JCC of Chicago
  • Gayle Malvin, M.S.W., Director of Day Camping Services, JCC of Chicago
  • Glen W. McGee, Ph.D., President, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
  • David R. Mosena, President & C.E.O., Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago
  • Andrew Parin, B.S.L.A., Planning & Development Associate
  • Steve Pizzey, Director & C.E.O., Science Projects Ltd., Acton, London
  • Moshe Rishpon, Ph.D., Director of Clore Garden of Science, Weizmann Institute,
  • Rehovot, Israel