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OUR MISSION

Since 2001, the Maine Discovery Museum has helped people of all ages to discover the world around them through play, creative exploration, and science.

STEM

Maine Discovery Museum (MDM) began with a public forum in 1997 and after years of planning and support from the community, opened its doors in February 2001. Over the past 20 years, MDM has achieved far more than its founders could have imagined. We’ve welcomed well over one and half million visitors and have played a central role in downtown Bangor’s growth and development. And MDM has become a critical player in the education of young Mainers from all over the state, especially in science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM), using the practice of STEAM (including arts in the programming). MDM is about discovery: looking at the world around us with fresh eyes, a lot of questions, and a desire to know more.

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"Great place for kids to be kids.  They can explore,  run and touch everything!!! Inquisitive little minds get to try numerous activities in a safe fun environment."

— Jinny Robicheau

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"This place is FANTASTIC!!! Brought my 2 & 5 year old girls and they both had a blast! There was literally something exciting around every turn!  They literally had to ask us to leave when they closing, lol! And I love the fact that they "close" so they can offer the space to those who are sensory sensitive."

— Julie Williams Stoner

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"Such a wonderful experience of fun and learning. Best part is the time spent with sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, etc. The smiles on their faces says it all."

— Caitlin Adams

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"My daughter Eva Leaden took me for a tour recently.  She has been a patron, a summer camp participant, a student, and a volunteer since the museum opened.  In recent years she has been employed as a summer camp counselor.  The museum has evolved over the years but it is still a comfortable place for her to be with many of our favorite exhibits such as "Goodnight Moon".  She enjoyed showing me the new installments and she reminded me of how much time we spent here in her youth.

 

The Maine discovery museum will always have a special place in our family memories."

— The Leaden Family

“Maine Discovery Museum is the feeder pond for STEM careers…you get the little tadpoles excited about science and discovery.” -Dana N. Humphrey, Ph.D, P.E.
Dean, College of Engineering, University of Maine

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OUR VISION

Over the next 5 years, the Maine Discovery Museum and Science Center will position itself at the forefront of public science education in Maine.

DRAFT

2/16/2022

 

Mission Statement:  The Maine Discovery Museum and Science Center helps people of all ages to discover the world around them through play , creative exploration and science.

 

Vision Statement: Over the next 5 years, the Maine Discovery Museum and Science Center will position itself at the forefront of public science education in Maine. We seek to create a public space, both a new and/or renovated physical location as well as expanded virtual programming, for this broad pursuit of scientific literacy and creative problem solving. We will use a collaborative approach to education and economic development that posits new innovative teaching models focused on achieving (are we overpromising?  science literacy at an earlier age 

focusing on two fundamental principles in child development and learning that enhance scientific literacy: (1) Children construct knowledge, and (2) Children learn through play. It is through play that children develop their imagination, creativity and language.

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DRAFT

MDM will be the environment that provides opportunities for exploration, experimentation and manipulation to support children to become scientifically literate by learning through Play. 

and reaching a greater percentage of Maine’s population. This will result in broader education, scientific awareness, and career readiness for the 21st century. We will be the hub for a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education ecosystem for students of all ages in Maine, “cradle to gray,” resulting in the continuous science engagement of the Maine public from early childhood through college and beyond.This is a broad aspirational goal as far as education is concerned but where is the fun? The interactive, self-guided, self selected aspect?

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timeline
DISCOVERIES DELIVERED

2007: The Reedy Glacier Project, a collaboration between MDM and the Climate Change Institute at UMO was a temporary exhibit piece in the form of an interactive kiosk display focusing on the impacts of climate change and the South Pole expedition of the Climate Change Institute. MDM contributed our insight into building hands-on activities and communicating complex science content to children.

2010: MDM is invited to join NISE, received the first NISE net Nanoscience education kit and hosted the nationwide “Making Stuff Event” which brought in 600+ visitors over 2 weekends.

2011: MDM received the second NISE Nanoscience kit, hosted the first Nano day event and offered Nano and Materials science-based summer camps for older children, and participated in another Engineering Expo. AS part of the nation-wide effort to bring Nano education and awareness to the general public, MDM’s combined Nano education programs cover 200+ hours of nano education, reaching 3000+ visitors.

2014: As only 10 museums in the Nation, MDM, as the Science Education partner is selected to join the Intersections project with the Maine Writing Project. We are currently developing an app program that has the potential to reach and impact thousands of learners

2015: The Maine Science Festival (MSF) is the first and only science festival in Maine. The MSF is a celebration of the national and world-leading science by the Mainers who do it. It began over two and half days in March 2015, with an array of forums, hands-on activities, workshops, exhibits, and talks. Events for all ages, and all but the headliner available free of charge.

2016: MDM is awarded the Franklin Institute's GSK: Science in the Summer grant and brings STEM outreach to over 300 children and another 200 adults (educators, volunteers, parents) in rural and underserved communities from Bar Harbor to Perry.

MDM started a partnership with the 21st CCLC after-school program and brings STEM outreach to 3 area schools reaching over 300 students.

NISE net awards us the “Building with Biology” grant. One of the themes is “Should we bioengineer the mosquito? We reach 200 people with this content.

MDM is invited along with 20 other STEM institutions nationwide and as the only children’s museum to participate in the EdGe study at the New York Hall of Science. Edge stands for Exhibit Design for Girl Engagement and is lead by the Exploratorium and NY Hall of Science. The principal findings of this national study inform decisions about our exhibits and interactives.

2017: GSK outreach jumps from a target of 240 children (which we exceeded by 20%) to 640 children.

2018: GSK outreach requirements increase to 640 children. We exceed that goal reaching over 700 children and 300 adults. MDM presents at the annual national meeting in Philadelphia.

2020: ▪ Launch of Maine Science Podcast ▪ Launch of Discovery Kits ▪ Launch of MSF 5MG Trading Cards ▪ IF/THEN Grant

2022: The Warming Sea

2022: Science Teacher Academy

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