Discovery Center Ship Sets Sail

Discovery Center Ship Sets Sail

The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center opened a new outdoor pirate ship! The ship was designed and built at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center by facilities manager Draque Carver and a team of volunteers. The ship took an estimated 1,000 hours to design and build.

The final ship is 25 feet long and 10 feet wide with a 20 foot mast. Featuring portholes, a captain's wheel and a ramp entry designed for wheelchair access, the ship will provide many years of fun for museum visitors.

Discovery Center visitors and social media followers chose the ship’s name. Children suggested over 150 names throughout April during visits to the museum. Voters picked between their top five suggestions: The Sunflower, Ship's Ahoy, Ship, Ship Hooray!, Seas the Day andBoatie.    

Seas the Day, suggested by six year old Macy Archer and mom Samantha Archer, of Carbondale, won the voting with 30.89% of votes cast, narrowly defeating The Sunflower, with 30.37% of votes. The Archer family won a family pack of Discovery Center passes and a pirate gift bag for suggesting the winning name.

Ship designer and builder Draque Carver has been with the Discovery Center since 2014 and is responsible for facility and exhibit construction and maintenance. Draque came to the Discovery Center with 35 years of experience in construction. The Discovery Center puts his expertise to work in a wide range of unconventional projects, from a realistic life-size pizza oven, to welded butterfly chairs, to giant ruby red slippers. The ship is his largest-scale project to date.

The ship is the latest addition to the Kansas Children's Discovery Center's 4.5 acre Certified Nature Explore Classroom. The Outdoor Classroom features a treehouse, bike and trike trail, climbing structures, pond and steam, a music garden, and a wealth of natural elements to explore.

Nature Explore Outdoor Classrooms offer interactive elements such as musical instruments made of natural materials, garden and pathway areas, and natural materials for building and creating art. Research consistently shows that children who learn and grow in Nature Explore Classrooms exhibit enhanced concentration, develop creativity and problem solving techniques, manage stress in healthy ways and develop skills across the spectrum of academic and creative learning.