Playing at The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier

About Us

Come to The Discovery Center and learn something amazing about the world and yourself. This remarkable 22,500 square foot space, with over 30 exhibits, was created for, with and by children. We understand that play is an essential part of learning and exploration of the world leads children to self-discovery. Children are free to touch, to laugh, to manipulate and to encounter in a happy and safe environment. The Discovery Center is for every young child and fascinates the child in everyone.

Ross Park Attractions

Located within Binghamton’s historic Ross Park, The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier and Ross Park Zoo have been family staples in Greater Binghamton for generations. 

As one of the oldest zoos in the US, the Ross Park Zoo has been dedicated to education, conservation, and community engagement for more than 145 years. While just a parking lot away, The Discovery Center, a hands-on children’s museum features 40+ interactive exhibits both inside and outside of the Museum.

Welcome to Ross Park

Binghamton's Only Hands-On Children's Museum

Serving the Southern Tier of New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Discovery Center’s exhibits, themes and ambiance are community specific while leaving a wide margin for global discovery.

“We offer diversion; we offer fun; we offer love and a happy day. Come often, stay as long as you’d like and enjoy every minute. And know that everyone has a special place in our hearts.”

Pokey Crocker, Executive Director 1988-2016

Our History

The Imagination Builders and the Junior League of Binghamton (JLB) open The Discovery Center in the gym of an empty, urban school which was quickly outgrown.
The Center moved to Binghamton’s Ross Park campus next to the Binghamton Zoo, the fifth oldest zoo in the nation. Work began on converting a dilapidated maintenance barn into the extraordinary space that we are today.
A major addition was completed adding exhibit space, classrooms, a performance space and enhancing visitor services and ADA accessibility.
Our award winning Story Garden outdoor exhibit space was opened – a gift from the JLB. From dawn to dusk, there always families in the garden playing, enjoying the books associated with each garden vignette, pondering, picnicking and enjoying nature.

We dedicated our Kids Commons addition to facilitate weekday preschool activities, summer camps and weekend programming.

Our Board of Directors

Cheryl Dutko

Interim Executive Director

Erik Jones


Alyssa Enfield

Vice President

Zach Staff


Sean Britton


Jake Brigham

James Burnett

Kelly Hudock

Jeffrey Jaketic

Jonathan Macko

Brandon MacWhinnie

Vanessa Moschak

Kim Myers

Job Opportunities

The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

Position Description/Responsibilities

The position of teaching assistant provides aide and support to the pre-school teacher to provide a high quality program for children ages 3-5.


  • Provides additional oversight of pre-school age children by assisting teachers with classroom and outdoor activities
  • Assure that all children are monitored consistently for safety purposes.
  • Aide in curriculum development and education program planning along with teacher and Education Director as necessary.
  • Complete classroom paperwork as necessary
  • Maintaining compliance with all Office of Child and Service regulations

Education Requirements

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent
  • Prior experience working with children in a classroom environment helpful

Essential Skills

  • Creative and fun loving
  • Ability to multitask in a fast paced environment
  • Patience and understanding of issues that may arise with small children


  • $13.50/ hour base wage


  • One position 30-35 hours a week; One position part time with the availability for more hours
  • One position 8AM – 3PM; one position 2:30PM – 6PM
  • This position reports directly to the Education Director

Please send an updated resume, cover letter, and three (3) professional references to Director of Education, Kristy Wales at

Position Description/Responsibilities

The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier seeks a Teaching Assistant for our Kids Club School Age Childcare Program, to assist in the implementation of educational programs in the classroom setting for school age children from 5 to 12 years old. In this role, you will assist the lead teacher of the program with lessons and provide oversight for the safety of the children. In this time of virtual learning we will also be providing support for children attending school remotely during their time at The Discovery Center. The teaching assistant will be responsible for ensuring a safe, clean and calm classroom environment to allow children to benefit fully from their virtual school experience.

The ideal candidate will be creative, have an ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment, and an understanding of issues that may arise with young children.

Required Skills/Experience

  • High school diploma or equivalent


  • One year experience working with children less than 13 years of age

Desired Skills/Experience

  • Associate’s Degree or higher in an Education field
  • 2+ years of experience in working with children


  • $13.50/ hour


  • Days to be determined, (Monday-Friday hours of program are 7:30AM – 6PM).
  • We can be flexible with college schedules.
  • This position is nonexempt and reports to the Director of Education.

Please send an updated resume, cover letter, and three (3) professional references to Director of Education, Kristy Wales at Call 607 773-8661 x 209 with any questions.