Hill Country Science Mill Lets Kids Learn and Discover

In the 1880s, an old mill in Johnson City was a center of technology and industry. More than 100 years later, it is again.

“It was such a unique opportunity to take what was technology in the early 1900s and kind of transplant into it high-tech, cutting-edge technology and careers for our future generations,” Hill Country Science Mill founder Bonnie Baskin said.

The Hill Country Science Mill is a place where kids can discover how cool science can be.

“Science, technology and engineering is for them,” Renee Williams with the Hill Country Science Mill said. “We want them to enjoy their interaction with it and have fun.”

On her first visit to Texas, Baskin fell in love with the Hill Country. When the old mill was put up for sale, she envisioned it becoming a place to inspire future scientists.

“I dreamt about it, I built it, I sourced it from all over the world and just to see these kids,” Baskin said.

The exhibits are designed to engage older kids, but the whole family can discover something unexpected. Williams says the learning continues at home.

“They’re able to indicate which exhibits were their favorites and they can go back later and learn more online and find out how to pursue those fields,” she said.

While a world-class science museum in a small, rural community might seem odd, Baskin says the location is ideal.

“We didn’t downsize this at all,” she said. “This concept is unique. It brings together exhibits and technology from all over the world.”