Roper Mountain Science Center provides science education programs for area school students, as well as programs for the general public. The center, which opened in 1985, is located on 62 hilltop acres just east of Greenville. The facility is operated by the School District of Greenville County and is a collaboration between public and private resources. Roper Mountain Science Center provides fun educational opportunities for more than 120,000 students each year from Greenville County and other districts.
Roper Mountain is different from most science centers. It is part school, part museum. The facilities include science classrooms and labs, a planetarium, an observatory, an amphitheater, a nature trail, and the Living History Farm. Programs are offered in astronomy, weather, health, physical science, and natural and earth science. The grounds include a 1½ mile nature trail, a butterfly garden, and an arboretum. There are vegetable and kitchen gardens at the Living History Farm. The water lily pond is an excellent place to observe turtles, fish, and ducks. The grounds are especially beautiful in the spring and fall.
Every Friday evening Roper Mountain Science Center offers special programs for the general public. Friday "Starry Nights" programs include planetarium shows in the Hooper Planetarium, the largest in South Carolina. Guests may observe stars and planets through the telescope in the observatory. Special activities are also scheduled for the 2nd Saturday of each month. The nature trail, butterfly garden, and arboretum are open to the public any time the main gates are open, Monday-Friday from 8:30am -5pm. A picnic area is available to the public, unless it has been reserved by a school group.
More than 80,000 visitors come to Roper Mountain Science Center during the holiday season to enjoy the annual Roper Mountain Holiday Lights. The spectacular light display contains nearly 1 million lights and may be viewed from your own vehicle or from a horse-drawn carriage. The Winter Wonderland is the place to visit with Santa, roast marshmallows, and do some holiday shopping. The light displays are illuminated each night from 6-10pm from Thanksgiving through December 30. Proceeds from the light show raise money for children's charities and educational programs in the Upstate.
Although school programs are the main focus of the science center, they do welcome the public to visit during the special Friday and Saturday events, or just enjoy the extensive grounds. The center strives to encourage people of all ages to explore and investigate the world of science.
G. Carpenter is the General Manager at the Holiday Inn Express Simpsonville hotel. The Holiday Inn Express Simpsonville is located just south of Greenville and only minutes from Mauldin, Fountain Inn, Laurens, and the Greenville Zoo. The hotel located just off I-385 at exit 27 with easy access to I-85, I-185 and I-26. This property offers a full range of services and amenities to make your stay exceptional.