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Students watch and gasp as water from a watering can is poured on their science project
January 3, 2018

ACTON, MA—Discovery Museum today announced a renewed partnership with MathWorks, the Natick, MA-based software developer, to bring its Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) hands-on STEM program to pre-K through grade 8 classrooms throughout New England in the 2017-2018 school year. Now in its 25th year, TSW has been updated and expanded to support changes to state science curriculum standards; it is the only classroom-based program of its kind in Massachusetts. This is the eighth consecutive year that MathWorks has underwritten the program.

TSW is on track to serve more than 31,000 students in over 1,500 classrooms this school year, marking the sixth consecutive year of program growth. A two-year effort to realign the program to state guidelines has resulted in a number of new grade-based workshop offerings including Force & Magnetism, Force & Motion, Sound for Preschool, and Weather & Climate. Additional new workshops are currently in pilot to be offered next school year.

In all workshops, fun, hands-on discovery activities demystify science concepts, strengthen problem solving skills, and reinforce the scientific method. Classroom teachers and parents receive follow-up activities to reinforce learned concepts.

“Partnering with the Traveling Science program helps us further our common goal of engaging children with fun and exciting ways to explore science and math,” said Kevin Lorenc, director of corporate communications at MathWorks. “These workshops spark imagination and inspiration, helping students develop an interest in learning and allowing them to consider a future in STEM fields.”  

“The scientific method comes quite naturally to kids—it’s how they play,” said Neil Gordon, Discovery Museum CEO. “The continued and generous support from MathWorks means we’ve been able to bring hands-on science to kids in their classrooms, helping them to experience doing science rather than just hearing or reading about it. That can make all the difference in building confidence—and interest—around STEM.”

More information about the Traveling Science Workshops program can be found here http://www.discoveryacton.org/traveling-science-workshops.

Photo: Grade 3 students at the Francis J. Kane Elementary school in Marlboro, MA explore the science of weather and climate during a Traveling Science Workshop held at the school by Discovery Museum in December 2017. Using weather maps and historical data, groups of students work together to describe and predict typical weather for a given region at a particular time of year. Student teams then apply their new knowledge as they engineer structures to withstand typical weather for a given region—and then test them out. 

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 550-square-foot treehouse blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. Originally founded in 1982, the museum was expanded and completely renovated in 2017. Hands-on, playful exhibits, developed by professional educators, inspire curiosity, exploration, and imagination, providing a fun and engaging experience that enables 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. For more information please visit www.discoveryacton.org. Discovery Museum is a community-supported non-profit organization.

The Discovery Museums’ 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 technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design for multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MATLAB and Simulink are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world's universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 3500 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit mathworks.com.