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ACTON, MA – National Grid Foundation has awarded $15,000 to Discovery Museum to provide in-school Traveling Science Workshops and museum field trips to elementary and middle school students in Lowell and Lawrence for the 2019-2020 school year. Up to 1,000 students will be served through the grant.
“Supporting student learning in the communities we serve is an important priority of the Foundation,” said Edward White, executive director of National Grid Foundation. “By partnering with Discovery Museum, we can help bring hands-on STEM learning to schools in Lowell and Lawrence, planting the seeds for successful outcomes for these students.”
“National Grid Foundation understands that all children, regardless of their eventual career paths, will need scientific skills—such as the ability to ask questions, solve problems, think creatively, collaborate, and analyze evidence—in order to compete in the job market and to participate in a technology-driven society,” said CEO Neil Gordon. “By funding our work with the students of Lowell and Lawrence, the Foundation is supporting both short-term science achievement and longer-term life skills for students.”
Discovery Museum offers Traveling Science Workshops (TSW) on more than 20 topics, including Light & Lasers, Physical Changes of Matter, Magnets, Weather & Climate, Simple Machines, and Sound. All workshops use familiar, low-tech materials—items often found in the home—which helps children understand that science is all around them and can be done anywhere. TSW also gives children opportunities to “do science”—to pose questions, test ideas, and discuss observations. Workshops take place in individual classrooms, rather than school-assembly style, so that every child can actively participate. Each workshop includes leave-behind Teacher Guides for additional science explorations and learning.
For many children, school field trips are the only times they visit museums. Field trips help to reinforce material learned at school, provide opportunities for interactive learning that are unavailable in school classrooms, and bring to life concepts and phenomena students might otherwise only read about. Discovery Museum field trips offer students an opportunity to explore interactive exhibits on light and color; water; sound; air; math; tinkering and inventing; and simple machines.
About National Grid Foundation
The National Grid Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life, economic strength and environmental stewardship in National Grid’s service territory. The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for solutions to today’s educational and environmental challenges. By awarding grants to non-profit organizations, the Foundation inspires and serves as a catalyst to a shared future, ultimately impacting and improving lives of the underserved in our neighborhoods. Since its inception in December 1998, the Foundation has provided more than $25 million in grants to hundreds of organizations.
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 sf 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 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. Discovery Museum is the winner of Boston magazine’s 2018 Best of Boston® Best Family-Friendly Museum, West. 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.
Photo: pictured at the museum, L-R: Marie Beam, Chief Development Officer, Discovery Museum; Edward White, Executive Director, National Grid Foundation; Neil Gordon, CEO, Discovery Museum; Deborah Drew, Director, Philanthropic Development, National Grid Foundation; Jose Rivera, Director of Finance, National Grid, and member of the Discovery Museum Board of Directors