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MathWorks and Discovery Museum Renew Long-running Partnership to Bring Hands-on STEM to PreK-8 Classrooms


Acton, MA – Discovery Museum and Natick-based MathWorks announced today their continued partnership to bring the Museum’s Traveling Science Workshops to classrooms throughout Massachusetts and beyond for the 2023-2024 school year. This is the fourteenth consecutive school year that MathWorks has invested in the school outreach program.

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 by 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. It is the only classroom-based program of its kind in Massachusetts.

MathWorks has partnered with Discovery Museum since 2010 to bring TSW to school classrooms, supporting program growth and developing virtual workshops and distance learning resources for teachers. MathWorks also supports community access to the Museum by funding free-access Friday nights and a week of reduced admission pricing in the fall. MathWorks volunteer groups also undertake on-site projects several times each year.

For the 2022-2023 school year—the 30th year of Traveling Science Workshops—Discovery Museum delivered more than 2,600 workshops to more than 51,000 students in their classrooms, a remarkable 28% increase in the number of workshops and a 26% increase in the number of students served from the prior school year. For the first time, demand exceeded staff capacity, and a waiting list had to be created. For the 2023-2024 school year, the Museum has increased its teaching capacity and expects to serve upwards of 54,000 students.

“The impact of delivering STEM explorations into students’ hands at a young age cannot be overstated,” said Kevin Lorenc, director of corporate communications at MathWorks. “Opening young minds to observing and ‘doing’ science in their everyday lives helps students better understand their world and can spark an early interest in a STEM-track education and career path. We’ve partnered with Discovery Museum for 14 years to bring hands-on STEM to students because it matters to them and the communities they will ultimately contribute to.”

“The world that we are passing along to our kids is going to require them to be creative thinkers and problem solvers, yet they build, create, and explore far less than their grandparents or even their parents did,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “Thanks to the ongoing and impactful support of MathWorks, we continue to grow our Traveling Science Workshops program to get science into more kids’ hands, spark their interest in the world around them, and build confidence in their own abilities as problem-solvers.”

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 giant 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 Massachusetts Commonwealth Award, the only winner in the Access category, and a LEAD® Community Asset Award from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Discovery Museum was also recognized in 2023 as a Finalist for the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Medal, the highest honor in the museum field. For more information, please visit discoveryacton.org. Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization, 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 6000 people in 34 offices around the world, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit mathworks.com

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