The Discovery Museums have kicked off a series of programming focused on the outdoors to run through summer and beyond, the first of a multi-phased program to connected kids with nature.
The concept development work for the initiative was funded by a $5,000 grant from the Foundation for MetroWest, according to a press release.
“Studies show that societal declines in creativity and increases in things such as Attention Deficit Disorder can be tied back to children’s lack of exposure to nature during their early developmental years,” said Neil Gordon, CEO of The Discovery Museums.
“We consider it part of our mission to entice kids back outside by leveraging and expanding our outdoor spaces through programming and exhibits. We are so grateful to the Foundation for jumpstarting our efforts to ensure support for this important initiative.”
Phase I of the initiative includes an increase in staff-led outdoor programming for families.
The lineup for 2013 spring and summer includes:
- Woodland Trail Scavenger Hunt,
- flower dissection,
- nature walks,
- outdoor music and movement,
- Owls of the World,
- Wild Animals in Your Neighborhood,
- Meet a Geologist,
- Explore a 300lb Block of Ice,
- Painting with Water,
- Sun Art,
- Free-Form Forrest Building,
- Creating Giant Bird Nests, and more.
The Museums will also kick off a summer-long series called AirPlay Tuesdays, where kids and families will explore the properties of wind, air resistance, and air pressure through a series of programs. In July, Artist-Naturalist Sam Jaffe will lead a program on the biology and beauty of caterpillars.
Subsequent phases will include developing a fully-accessible treehouse to serve as an outdoor learning center, and renovation and expansion of existing outdoor exhibits.
“Time spent with handheld devices and video games is taking away precious outdoor free-play time for kids, where they can explore, learn and grow.” said Judy Salerno, executive director of Foundation for MetroWest.
“We are happy to be able to support The Discovery Museums’ initiatives to get kids outside and connect them with the incredible natural world that surrounds them.”
The two museums—the Children’s Discovery Museum for ages 0-6 and the Science Discovery Museum for kids of all ages—are paired on a single 4.5-acre campus in Acton, 177 Main St.