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Discovery Museum Celebrates 30 Years of Delivering Hands-On Science in Elementary School Classrooms


MathWorks provides significant support for Traveling Science Workshops for the 13th year

Acton, MA – Discovery Museum announced a 30-year milestone for its in-school STEM program, Traveling Science Workshops, having delivered hands-on science to more than half a million PreK through 8th grade students from hundreds of communities throughout Massachusetts since the program began in 1992.

Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) are state curriculum-aligned, small group, in-classroom workshops that use simple, everyday materials and a hands-on approach to allow students to be scientists: exploring, observing, asking questions, and sharing discoveries. Museum educators deliver twenty-three STEM topics, including Sound, Weather & Climate, Physical Changes of Matter, and Force & Motion, to give elementary and middle school students direct experience with how things work in the physical world.

MathWorks has partnered with the Museum since 2010 to bring TSW to school classrooms, supporting program growth as well as the development of virtual workshops and distance learning resources for teachers during the pandemic. TSW is on pace to serve more than 42,000 students this school year, outpacing pre-pandemic numbers.

“With so much time spent on screens and using electronic devices—where the inner workings are difficult to see—kids have little direct experience experimenting with how things physically work. They are less and less familiar with using their hands to build, construct, solve problems,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “Thanks to the continued and impactful support of MathWorks, we continue to reach more kids to spark their interest in science and build confidence in their own abilities as problem-solvers.”

“Discovery Museum’s Traveling Science Workshops help kids understand that their worlds are filled with opportunities to observe and do science and that in fact they already are scientists—and that’s exciting,” said Kevin Lorenc, director of corporate communications at MathWorks. “Our long-running partnership with Discovery Museum is due to our firm belief that engaging kids early with STEM can broaden their interests and open up a world of possibilities around science and engineering that they may not experience otherwise.”

Discovery Museum is celebrating TSW’s 30th anniversary and thanking schools that have hosted the program for 10+ years with special discounts and STEM prizes, as well as offering referral discounts for all schools.

“Discovery Museum has made such a difference in the lives of my students over many years,” said Laura Adams, second grade teacher at Quinsigamond Elementary School in Worcester, MA, which has received subsidized school programs from Discovery Museum since 2013. “The students are so engaged and excited, and proud of themselves for applying what they observe and learn to the task at hand. And, [TSW] connects kids as they work together—even if they speak different languages. We teachers watch their faces light up and their minds bursting with ideas, and we know the program has made a real difference for our students.”

In its first year, TSW offered three topics and served 1,200 students in Acton, Maynard, and Marlborough.

This release can also be viewed on the Museum’s website https://www.discoveryacton.org/news/discovery-museum-celebrates-30-years-delivering-hands-science-elementary-school-classrooms

About Discovery Museum

Discovery Museum is a hands-on museum that blends science, nature, and play, inspiring families to explore and learn together. The museum and its Discovery Woods accessible outdoor nature playscape and 550sf treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus 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, 16,000sf accessible building after a complete renovation and expansion in early 2018. Hands-on, open-ended exhibits developed by professional educators inspire curiosity and exploration, providing a fun and engaging experience for children and adults to discover their world together. Serving families and schools from towns throughout the region, the Museum is devoted 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.

About MathWorks

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of engineers and scientists, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a block diagram environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain and embedded engineering systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these products to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, communications, electronics, industrial automation, and other industries. MATLAB and Simulink are fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s top universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 5000 people in 16 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit  mathworks.com

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