The Discovery Museums (TDM) is located at 177 Main Street in South Acton on a 4.5 acre site. The site is home to two museums. The Discovery Museums inspires enduring curiosity and love of learning through interactive discovery, hands-on inquiry and scientific investigation.
To achieve its mission, TDM creates:
• playful, interactive discovery.
• opportunities for hands-on inquiry.
• memorable, rich, multi-sensory, learning experiences.
• interactive pathways for each person’s learning.
• a unique environment where educators facilitate reflective exploration and guide thoughtful scientific investigations.
• experiential and social learning opportunities for families and for individuals of all ages.
• exhibits, programs, and resources that promote discovery learning and environmental stewardship for children and adults of diverse needs and abilities.
• a center for the active exchange of ideas and involvement with science and discovery for children and adults of diverse needs and abilities.
The Children’s Discovery Museum (CDM) opened in 1982 in a Queen Anne Victorian House built in 1892. The original layout has been largely preserved and each room is a themed play space which stimulates exploration, development and learning for preschool and early elementary children and their parents.
The Science Discovery Museum (SDM) opened in 1987 in a 8,200 square foot post modern structure design by E. Verner Johnson & Associates of Boston. The interactive science exhibits are designed to foster inquiry-based learning. The exhibits and programs are for children and adults of all ages.
The museum serves approximately 140,000 people annually including about 25,000 in outreach programs in the schools. Many families have children of various ages and visit both museums. TDM currently has 1300 member families. The average museum member visits about four to five times per year.
Approximately 11,000 children visit each year as part of a school group. They come from classes from K-9th grade, but the majority of visitors are K-5th grade. While TDM serves schools throughout the Metrowest area, schools from as far away as Martha’s Vineyard, Chicopee, and Nashua, NH visit regularly.
TDM’s Traveling Science Workshop program reaches 25,000 children per year in their schools through a staff of five instructors. There is a full calendar of programs at the museum including summer classes, parent workshops, birthdays and events and after school science programs.
Approximately 85% of the operating budget comes from admissions, memberships, and fee-based programs. The remainder comes through contributions and grants. The annual operating budget is about $1,000,000 and employs 65 people, with 30-50 volunteers annually. TDM is overseen by a 20-member Board of Directors.