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The Fleet Science Center Announces a Big Change

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center unveils a new brand identity, signifying a new era for the institution, now known as The Fleet Science Center.

September 15, 2016

San DiegoEffective Friday, September 16, 2016, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center will be known as the Fleet Science Center. The new brand identity is the realization of the Fleet's expanded vision and extended role as a county-wide organization.

In 2014, the Fleet embarked on a number of studies and community conversations to examine its place in San Diego. The results of those studies informed a strategic plan that the Fleet has been working to implement over the last two years. The Fleet is transforming from a museum in the park to a county-wide organization devoted to building and supporting communities rich in science learning. This includes expanding its relationship with schools to provide integrated teacher professional development, science workshops and afterschool programs in support of both teachers and students. It also includes partnering with community organizations to bring science into San Diego neighborhoods so that all San Diegans have access to the transformative power of science. Additionally, Fleet staff have been working to create new experiences that provide transformational moments at the science center.

"While working on the strategic plan, we realized the direction we were charting was a departure from the associations people typically have of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center," said Dr. Steven Snyder, CEO of the re-branded Fleet Science Center. "Most people tend to think of us as the science center in Balboa Park with the IMAX Dome Theater, planetarium and hands-on exhibits.

"The Fleet Science Center is evolving to a county-wide organization that reaches across all of San Diego," continued Dr. Snyder. "We are committed to transforming the way people of all ages access the power of science. Our vision is to engage our communities in the pursuit of our shared scientific future-to make the world a better place. The rebranding is a way of making this transition official and helping to reinforce that we are an organization dedicated to science learning, in addition to being the most-visited museum in Balboa Park."

As part of its comprehensive strategic plan, the Fleet has launched new events such as Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar (listed by San Diego Magazine as one of the "27 Reasons to Love San Diego"). The Fleet has also begun developing their own exhibitions and new on-site events. This includes the immensely popular and immersive exhibition, Taping Shape, made entirely of packing tape; the loud, messy and shocking live science show, Don't Try This at Home; and the highly interactive Impossible Science Festival. The Fleet also began an ambitious community program, partnering with STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering and math) organizations to bring 52 Weeks of Science, a program that provides a free science event each week, to the Barrio Logan and Logan Heights neighborhoods.

"The new brand is bringing cohesion to the many different exhibitions, films, events and programs we offer at the Fleet and that we host off-site," said Wendy M. Grant, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Fleet. "We host summer camps and our Young Scientists learning program for kids. We host Night of Science parties for adults. We've introduced computer programming and 3D printing workshops, as well as off-site lecture series, such as Suds & Science, and events like Brushes & Beakers, which combines science and art. We've been working hard to create the Fleet of the future. We felt we needed an identity package that reflects our vision while maintaining the integrity of our 42-year-old brand."

The Fleet began working with Mth Degree in 2015 to develop a new brand identity to reflect the changing direction of the San Diego institution.

The purpose of the Fleet Science Center is to inspire exploration and discovery through science to create a better world. The brand promise is that science starts here and opens a world of possibility.

The centerpiece of the new brand identity is the logo.

"Our branding approach always stems from the strategy and vision of the organization," said Steven Morris, President of Mth Degree. "The logo mark plays a crucial role in carrying the brand story into the world.  The triangular shape has been chosen purposefully to accurately reflect the three pillars of the Fleet vision: the Fleet Science Center, education and community. The forward arrow evokes progress and aspiration, and the use of perfect symmetry creates a clear center from which possibilities can be explored in all directions.

"When creating the logo, we wanted to incorporate many familiar scientific concepts," Steven Morris continued. "This included the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence to the geometry of Platonic solids. We infused a scientific backstory into the brand identity right from the start."

"Our school programs and community involvement have made us much more than just a science center you come to, interact with the exhibits and leave," said Dr. Snyder. "We strive to be out in the community and engaging people in science no matter what their age or background is."

"The change has already begun," said Wendy Grant. "Now is the time to make it official."

The primary web address for the Fleet Science Center will change from rhfleet.org to fleetscience.org, effective Friday, September 16, 2016, at 10 a.m.

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The Fleet would like to invite members of the media to the official unveiling of the new brand identity Thursday, September 15, at the Fleet Science Center from 5 to 6:30 p.m. A short presentation will be given in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater and refreshments will be served. RSVP here

To schedule an interview, please contact Fleet Science Center Public Relations Manager Nathan Young at 619-685-5743 or nyoung@rhfleet.org

Versions of the new Fleet Science Center logo are available by request or can be downloaded from the Fleet's Press Images page, effective Friday, September 16, 2016, at 10 a.m.

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About Mth Degree

Mth Degree is a brand strategy and marketing agency that builds lasting brand loyalty by aligning a brand's purpose and promise with their customers' values. They solve business challenges through strategic branding, marketing and sales strategies for clients including the Fleet Science Center, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, LG, Samsung, Green Flash Brewing Co., and Razer Electronics, among others. For more information visit: theMthDegree.com


About the Fleet Science Center:

The Fleet Science Center connects people of all ages to the possibilities and power of science to create a better future. At the science center, you can explore and investigate more than 100 interactive exhibits that pique your curiosity and become immersed in an IMAX film adventure that shows the wonders of the planet--and beyond--in the Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Giant Dome Theater. For young science enthusiasts, the Fleet offers science workshops both at the Fleet and at schools throughout San Diego County. For adults, we offer events like Suds & Science and Two Scientists Walk Into a Bar™ at locations all over San Diego. We support communities by leveraging science resources to meet local needs. Teachers are encouraged to join our Teacher Partner Program and take advantage of our professional development opportunities. Additionally, at the Fleet Science Center, visitors will find unique educational toys and games, books, IMAX DVDs and more in the North Star Science Store, and pizzas, sandwiches, salads and healthy treats in our Craveology cafe. Located in Balboa Park, at 1875 El Prado, two blocks south of the San Diego Zoo on Park Blvd., the Fleet is San Diego's science center. Science starts here and opens a world of possibility. For information regarding current admission prices, visit our website at fleetscience.org.
About Balboa Park:
Located near downtown San Diego, Balboa Park is the largest urbancultural park in the United States. First established by the City of San Diego in 1868, it is also one of the oldest city parks in the nation and is the most visited single destination in San Diego. Its 1,200 acres include 17 museums, many gardens and attractions, the San Diego Zoo, miles of hiking trails, and multiple athletic complexes to explore and discover. For more information, visit balboapark.org.