40-4-Steve: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Discovery Center

Three weeks after Trevor was born, my dad retired from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory after working there for 38 years. Growing up, a lot of what he did and where he went was classified. Some of it still is. We couldn't visit him at work or join him for lunch the way some kids can visit a parent at work. Of course, this was normal in Livermore. Practically everyone I knew had a parent who worked at the Lab. 

There were two places families were welcome, though. One was the Lab's amazing Olympic-sized pool. We went there all the time and did the majority of our swim lessons there. I have a lot of happy memories involving the Lab pool. Turns out it was closed in 2004. That's a shame. 

The other place families (and the public) could go was the LLNL Discovery Center. I went there probably once or twice a year on average. I remember at least two school field trips there. I hadn't been since sometime in the mid-80's, so it was time to visit again. Steve had never been and was eager to add it to the 40-4-Steve list

The Discovery Center is only open in the afternoon on Tuesdays to Fridays, so we picked a Friday where Steve could take off early from work and arranged to meet my dad there. Dad hadn't been to the Lab since the day he retired ten years ago! When I checked the website a week ahead of time to confirm our plans, I discovered they were having a free "Fun with Science" event for 4th-8th graders on the very day we would be there. So I signed Trevor up, along with the three of us as chaperones.

We had a BLAST! The presentation was outstanding and all four of us enjoyed it immensely. Afterwards, we explored the rest of the Discovery Center. It certainly has changed in the last 30+ years! What fun to see it all with Dad, who was full of stories and memories. I highly recommend a visit, especially if you can get my dad to tag along!


  1. I have fond memories of the pool, too, though I didn't have a parent at the lab so my trips were much less frequent. Bummer that it's been closed. I just might ask your dad to join me if I'm in town on an afternoon that the Discovery Center is open!

  2. How fun! LOVING your page!! That's an awesome photo of the boys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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