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May 26, 2020

ACTON, MA—Discovery Museum announced today the launch of STEM-based teaching resources for PreK through grade 8 teachers and their students, available online and at no cost, to support schools’ distance learning efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The resources empower students to explore the scientific principles behind the Museum’s exhibits and
in-class science workshops using simple, everyday materials found at home

“Teachers are looking for engaging ways to support student science learning within the MA STE Standards while schools remain closed, and hands-on, project-based enrichment activities are one of the most impactful approaches to doing that,” said Jill Foster, director of school & group programs at the Museum. “Our exhibits and programs have always been rooted in science exploration with everyday materials, so developing this at-home learning content as a partial substitute for the work we would have done in classrooms and in the Museum this spring with teachers and students was a very natural fit.”

If schools had been open this spring, Discovery Museum educators would have worked with more than 19,000 students in 950 classrooms with its hands-on Traveling Science Workshops program, and more than 3,011 students would have explored science concepts at the Museum on class field trips. The new resources—delivered online but not computer-based—are intended to help provide for some of the missed learning opportunities. In addition, Museum educators will be piloting virtual workshops with several schools before the end of this school year, to prepare for the fall.

The hands-on enrichment activities, aligned to MA STE Standards for grades PreK through 8, are designed for students to explore science content using common materials found in the home. Each activity includes several exploration challenges, along with supporting resources that can be found online additional ideas and inspiration.

Available content covers the following curriculum topics: Sound Waves, Sound, Math, Force and Motion, Engineering Design, Light Energy, and Weather and Climate. Future content will cover Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Magnetism. New content will be posted weekly.

The Teacher Resources for Distance Learning page can be found on the Museum’s website here https://www.discoveryacton.org/distance-learning.

Discovery Museum is closed temporarily due to COVID-19 business restrictions in Massachusetts.


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. For more information please visit www.discoveryacton.org. 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.