The Discovery Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary – WaylandeNews
Inclusive Artistic Performances, Free STEM + Movie Nights, Discovery After Dark 21+ Event, Free Community Day, 1982 Month Prizes, Free Friday Nights and more are planned as a community thank you for 40 years of support
Acton, MA – Discovery Museum today announced a series of celebratory public events to mark its 40e year of hands-on STEAM learning for kids and families and to thank its community for the four decades of support that made this possible.
“The Discovery Museum has served more than 5 million children and families over the past 40 years, and this is in large part due to the generosity and support of our community,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “This support, combined with the vision and dedication of our staff and volunteers, has allowed us to ignite children’s natural curiosity and creativity to explore and better understand themselves, their abilities and the incredible possibilities of the world around them. We are honored to be an integral part of the lives of so many families. »
“It’s been so rewarding to see generations of families exploring and learning together at the Discovery Museum for 40 years,” said Carolyn Platt, Fellow Emeritus and Founding Board Member. “We see parents who visited as children, bringing their own children, and parents visiting with their grandchildren, strengthening bonds and creating joyful memories through hands-on play. Learning together through open play experiences at the Museum is as impactful today as it was in 1982. The Discovery Museum is a valuable community resource that I hope will become a part of families’ lives. for generations to come.
40e Anniversary Community Events
Special programs and events, including free outdoor movie nights, accessible arts performances, free admission day, 21+ party, and more, will take place from June to October. Most events require pre-registration unless otherwise stated.
- June 23, 7:30 p.m. | STEM + Lawn Movie Nights #1 – Enjoy hands-on pollinator activities, then sit back to watch “A Bug’s Life” on our lawn. Registration not obligatory. Free.
- June 24, 4:30-8:00 p.m. | Free summer Friday nights begin – Tour with free admission every Friday night through Labor Day. Registration required to visit. Free.
June 25 & 26, all day | Bessie’s Birthday Weekend – We will celebrate the 40th anniversary of our dinosaur mascot with STEM explorations, a scavenger hunt and more. Registration required to visit. Free with entry.
- July 16, 6:30 p.m. | Discovery After Dark, a 21+ event – It’s time for the grown-ups at the Museum! Enjoy live Caribbean music, drinks, food and fun. Inside and outside ; advance ticket purchase required.
- July – August | Inclusive terrace performances – Inclusive performing arts events on our patio, including a Berkshire Hills Music Academy Jazz Show and Exploring China: “The Middle Empire” through music and history with Shaw Pong Liu, a Young Audiences of Massachusetts artist; upcoming dates. Registration required to visit. Free with entry.
- July 21, 7:30 p.m. & August 11, 7 p.m. | STEM + Lawn Movie Nights #2 & #3 – Enjoy hands-on STEM activities, then settle in to watch a family favorite movie on our front lawn. (These movie titles cannot be included in the press release but can be found on our site here and here.) Free.
- September 10, all day | Free Community day! – Join us with free entry and enjoy activities, food trucks, birthday cupcakes, a parade and more! Registration required to visit. Free.
- October 1 to 31 | Play like it’s 1982! – Join us any day in October, our founding month, and pay only $2.50 for admission. Registration required to visit.
Additionally, a number of long-time visitor favorite public programs will be offered, such as Cold As Ice, Fairyborough, Exploring Nano, Woodworking, Take Aparts, and more.
The Discovery Museum Full Set of 40e birthday programs and community events are generously sponsored by TJX Companies, with additional support from Enterprise Bank, as well as Corning Life Sciences, Dunkin’/Locally Owned and Operated by the Pesce Family, Hologic, Inc. and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Main stages of the Discovery Museum
Founded in October 1982 by local schoolteacher Donald Verger, the museum opened in a 130-year-old Victorian house, with each room providing a uniquely immersive learning environment for child-led exploration. Five years later, a second building was added to the campus with interactive STEM exhibits for a wider range of ages. Traveling School Science Workshops, first introduced in 1992, brought hands-on STEM explorations into classrooms and now reach more than 40,000 students a year.
The Discovery Museum welcomed its 2 millionth visitor in 2000, and in 2010 launched its Open Door Connections program to reflect the growing emphasis on removing barriers to access for families facing economic, physical or of development. More than 25% of people served each year at the Museum and in schools now go through Open Door.
An $8.8 million fundraising campaign in 2013 initiated a comprehensive renovation of the physical campus, with accessibility as a primary focus. In 2016, Discovery Woods – featuring an accessible natural playscape and treehouse – opened, followed by a fully renovated and expanded Discovery Museum in 2018; the building and all exhibits have been designed based on universal design guidelines to be accessible to most ages and abilities.
In 2022, the museum announced its conversion to 100% on-site solar electricity – a first among children’s museums nationwide – with excess power sold to other regional nonprofits at a reduced price, as well as a first of its kind. carbon offset program for members, staff and volunteers. These are major steps in the Museum’s five-year Sustainability Plan towards carbon neutrality.
About the Discovery Museum
Discovery Museum is an interactive museum that combines science, nature and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its accessible natural outdoor playscape Discovery Woods and its 550 square foot treehouse blend the best of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning on a beautiful 4, 5 acres abutting 180 acres of conservation land in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982 and expanded to two museums in 1987, the museum reopened in a single 16,000 square foot accessible building after a comprehensive renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open exhibits developed by educators professionals inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together. Serving families and schools in cities across the region, the Museum is dedicated to informal education that enhances classroom learning. Discovery Museum is committed to accessibility and is a proud recipient of the 2017 Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the only winner in the Access category, and a 2018 LEAD® Community Asset Award from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts . Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization. Discovery Museum programming is supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.