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PUD News

Fun plus Facts equal learning at Rocky Reach

by Kimberlee Craig | Sep 30, 2019
Successful formula earns Discovery Center staff STEM Education Champion award

Image of Bob Bauer Debbie Gallaher in front of Rocky Reach DamSurprise raced across Debbie Gallaher’s face when the presenter announced she and colleague Bob Bauer as the STEM Champions at the Innovators Awards hosted by Greater Wenatchee Area Technology Alliance.

There was no surprise, however, about why the dynamic duo at Rocky Reach Discovery Center was honored. Over 15 years they’ve built partnerships with community groups and school districts to share the wonder of hydropower with nearly 2,000 students each year.

“I want to thank everyone who supports us, as these programs really do take a village,” Gallaher said. “From our Board of Commissioners to our senior managers, to our community partners and so many PUD employees, it’s collaboration that brings these programs to life.”

Gallaher is Visitor Services manager for Chelan PUD and Bauer is an education specialist, based at the Discovery Center. They received the honor at the alliance’s regional innovation celebration. Programs such as River of Power for fourth-graders, River Ramble for all ages and the FWEE Hydropower and STEM Career Academy are just a few of the creative programs  they’ve developed to help the community and visitors experience the Columbia River.

Their goal is be a community partner that brings industry and education together for  high quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) experiences for students in the region, she said.

Rocky Reach Discovery Center is open seven days a week through Oct. 31. Programs including Summer Science Adventure Camp and the Hydropower and STEM Career Academy will continue next year in Rocky Reach Park during an 18-month renovation of the building. The center will reopen in spring 2021 offering year-round programs, big new fish viewing windows and innovative displays.

Join us on Nov. 1, 5:30-8:30 p.m., for a celebration of this community treasure and a farewell to the Museum of the Columbia. 

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Learn more about Rocky Reach Discovery Center at, find us on and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.

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