Discovery Center's Tyler Moles on Educating the Next Generation

Tyler Moles joined the Discovery Center of Springfield in April 2021 as Chief Operations Officer and moved into the role of CEO in March 2024. Learn about Moles’ goals, what inspires him and what excites him about the future.

By Max Havey

Jul 2024

Tyler Moles
Photo by Katy St. ClairTyler Moles showcases sprouts from the indoor urban farm which uses aeroponics and tower garden methods to grow food that is donated locally. Purchase Photo

On Key Goals as CEO

Being able to serve more kids through outreach programming, through formal education and field trips. This center is a huge resource for the community and has capacity to serve a lot more kids. We’re bringing in a traveling Smithsonian gallery that we’ll have here for two years, starting this fall. The idea is to broaden the demographic of who we serve, and we’ll serve more kids by getting more adults interested too. 

On Advice He’d Give His Younger Self

Rely on the wisdom of others more. At 40, I look at the world differently than I did when I was 25. We have younger employees who bring good things and sometimes they see things, that you just can’t see from where you’re at, and you must listen to them. The variety of perspectives and points of view helps create a better, more holistic vision.

On What Inspires Him

Watching parents put priority on inspiring education in the kids always inspires me. When I see parents interact with their kids and explain how things work in the Center, it blows my mind, and that’s one of the things that keeps me going. 

On What Excites Him About the Future

I’m super excited to see what can happen in a relatively short period of time. When I was a young man, I measured goals in weeks and months, but really good big things take time to happen. Ideas that I had three years ago are just coming to fruition right now. The big things take a lot of work, but they’re worth it. You have to be persistent.

On Attendance Growth

I recently found some attendance reports from 2010, and I can say that March 2024 was 1,000% of attendance at the museum compared to March 2010. We saw those numbers go up a little over the years and really spike post-COVID. The whole team contributed to making the Discovery Center super-relevant again, and I’m really proud of them and what we’ve been able to do. Seeing that 14-year-old piece of paper made me realize that we actually are doing something, and growth is happening. 

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