Discovery Museum, Inc.

science. nature. play.

Acton, MA   |  www.discoveryacton.org

Mission

Discovery Museum's mission is to inspire enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry, and scientific investigation.

Ruling year info

1987

Principal Officer

Mr. Neil H. Gordon

Main address

177 Main Street

Acton, MA 01720 USA

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Formerly known as

Children's Discovery Museum

The Discovery Museums, Inc.

EIN

04-2741645

NTEE code info

Children's Museums (A52)

Science & Technology Museum (A57)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

1. Open Door Connections

Discovery Museum's Open Door Connections program works with community partners to expand opportunities for children, families, and schools facing barriers that prevent them from experiencing the Museums’ stimulating, hands-on, discovery-based learning. Since the program began in 2009, we have doubled its reach, serving more than 50,000 in 2016 with outreach, subsidies, and free programs. Open Door Connections includes:$1 Anytime Admission for EBT card-holders and families; Subsidized and/or free Discovery Memberships for qualified families; Subsidized Discovery Science School Programs for qualified schools; Free Friday Nights the first Friday of every month during the school year and every Friday during Summer; Library Pass Program: more than 70 public libraries participate; Military Appreciation Program: free admission for active-duty personnel and families; Educator Discount: free admission to all educators; Playing Together: works with child care providers to enrich curricula and bring children to the museum

Population(s) Served
Adults

Discovery Museum is dedicated to making the Museum welcoming for all families, regardless of the challenges they face. We have developed award-winning Especially for Me programming for families with special needs, making museum visits easier and more rewarding. Since 2010, we have offered free events for families with children on the autism spectrum, who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who are visually impaired, providing private access to the museums, trained facilitators, music therapy, and ASL interpreters. We served more than 1,700 people through Especially for Me in 2016. The Discovery Museums is committed to creating environments that follow universal design principles. Discovery Woods, our new outdoor playspace and treehouse, is fully-accessible, allowing children and adults of all abilities to explore the outdoors. In 2018, we opened our renovated and expanded, fully-accessible museum buidling.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Families

Discovery Science School Programs provide educational enrichment to area schoolchildren through both in-class workshops and on-site field trips. Through Traveling Science Workshops, Discovery Museum educators travel directly to schools, eliminating the financial hardship of busing. TSW brings inquiry-based discovery and science experiences directly to classrooms via programs adhering to state-mandated science curriculum standards. They also serve as training models, showing classroom teachers how to develop hands-on activities that engage and inform students. Leave-behind teacher guides further extend the enrichment possibilities. Discovery Field Trips offer engaging interactions with our exhibits, reinforcing key scientific concepts and generating enthusiasm for continued learning. As some families are unable to visit museums, due to financial, time, or other constraints, school field trips are many children’s only exposure to museums.

Population(s) Served
Students

Studies show that active outdoor play has a positive impact on children’s activity level, concentration, and creativity. Our goal is to support kids being successful, active, healthy learners. There are many facets to the physical and mental health issues facing children today, but one of the most effective solutions is also one of the simplest: send them outside to play! Building on the museums’ reputation as a safe place for indoor exploration, we have brought our engaging educational programming outside to provide the ‘bridge’ that some families need to embark on outdoor explorations. Our Backyard and Beyond programs draw families beyond the museum to Discovery Woods, by way of an accessible walkway to a large, whimsical treehouse, and a winding nature path. Program offerings include participating in nature playgroups, investigating changing weather patterns, learning about local flora and fauna, and guided and independent exploration of the adjacent conservation land.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Brain Building Together will be an early learning space opening in early 2018 in our expanded main building, designed in collaboration with a group of expert partners, and driven by current research on the connection between healthy brain development between the ages of 0 and 3 and playful yet purposeful learning experiences. The space will be unique among children’s museums in that the primary audience for the exhibit will be not the children themselves, but their parents. We will help parents learn how to observe their children in a way that makes learning visible and tangible. In particular, through this space, we want to engage parents in the development of skills that will help their children be successful in school—for example, social and emotional intelligence, the ability to sustain effort, and the demonstration of persistence. Special outreach will be made to parents who may be living in more stressful situations. A distinguished group of advisors will oversee the exhibit development and provide ongoing advice and support.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Affiliations & memberships

Association of Children’s Museums 2016

Association of Science and Technology Centers 2016

New England Museums Association (NEMA) 2016

Metrowest Nonprofit Network 2016

Chamber of Commerce 2016

Financials

Discovery Museum, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Discovery Museum, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/19/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Harry Hollenberg

Carlisle and Company

Term: 2020 - 2023

Lees Stuntz

Executive Director, Creative Learning Exchange

William Ryan

Superintendent (retired) Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools

Paula Bentinck-Smith

Retired Brookline, MA Educator and Primary School Counselor

Robert Ferrara

Senior Director for Strategic Planning and Alumni Relations Division of Student Life MIT

Bruce Osterling

Retired COO and CFO of several small, high-tech companies

Margaret Ramsey

Managing Trustee, The Ramsey McCluskey Family Foundation

Anthony Rao

Founder, Behavioral Solutions

Harry Hollenberg

Founding Partner, Carlisle Company

Pamela Gannon

Education Consultant and Molecular Biologist; Board Member, MIT Association of Independent Living Groups; Former Chair, Concord School Committee

Justin Kliger

Associate, Ropes & Gray

Cheryl Beaudoin

Acton Boxborough Regional Schools

Xuan Kong

Senior VP of Research and Intellectual Property, NEUROMetrix, Inc.

Ruth Agbaji

Founder, CEO & Nerd in Chief at Code Wiz Franchising

Anthony DiBona

Retired Executive Vice President, Strategic Alliances, PTC

Lisa Giglio

Vice President, Global Payroll Strategy & Operations and HR M&A, Dell Technologies

Jeffrey Glidden

Retired CFO, PTC

Andrew Magee

Retired Partner, Epsilon Associates, Inc.

J. Kevin Nugent

Founder & Director of the Brazelton Institute

Vibha Oza

Principal, Oza Consulting, LLC

Umair Zia

Director of Distribution Engineering, Eversource Energy

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/19/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data