Discovery Museum receives $1,854,000 from the state

Today, Connecticut’s bond commission approved $1,854,000 for Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum to make much-needed improvements, upgrades, and repairs. The news comes as the museum celebrates its 60th anniversary.

“This is great news for kids and families across the state and region,” said Bill Finch, executive director of The Discovery Museum. “I want to sincerely thank members of the state bond commission — including Governor Malloy — and members of Bridgeport’s state delegation for their support of the Museum and this much-needed investment in our future.”

With these much-needed resources, The Discovery Museum will make smart investments in maintenance and upgrades, including:

  • State-of-the-art planetarium renovation: An upgraded planetarium will expand from exploring planetary science and astronomy to cover biology, physics, chemistry, earth science, climate, engineering, and math.

  • Career, manufacturing, and climate change focused exhibits: Creating new hands-on activities exploring future health careers, manufacturing and design, and climate change.

  • State of the art learning spaces: Bringing new smartboard technology to all 5 of our primary learning spaces as well as expanded access to power and internet at workstations. New learning tablets, circuitry and robotics kits, and a new laser cutter will complement existing technology and upgrade the learning experience for all participants in all our programs. Projection, sound, and seating upgrades will expand uses for our theater.

  • Building and drainage safety repairs: Replacement of the museum elevator motor and other systems upgrades will provide greater system reliability, safety, efficiency, and peace of mind. Addressing drainage issues, completing energy conservation measures, improving accessibility.

“This critical investment from the state will have a lifelong impact on the lives of so many children,” said Tom Vos, Board Chair of The Discovery Museum. “These funds will allow us to renovate our existing infrastructure and create innovative, new exhibits that inspire young minds and create the ‘a-ha moments’ that set children on the path toward careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

Vos also noted that the Discovery Museum is an asset for the community because it helps kids to think for themselves by learning to ask questions, look for supporting evidence, and gain self-confidence.

The Discovery Museum (located at 4450 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, Conn.) was founded in 1958 and opened to the public in 1962. It is a mission-driven organization that aims to inspire, wonders and ignites creativity through the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

It does this through interactive experiences, unique exhibits, and dynamic learning programs, for example, the Great Rocket Challenge (where students compete in a design challenge to simulate a bid and build process for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rocket contract).

“Now more than ever, our kids and grandkids need access to safe, affordable, and high-tech learning centers like the Discovery Museum that help prepare them for future success,” said Finch. “That’s why making these smart investments in The Discovery Museum’s future is so important.”

Finch added: “Research is clear: Science, math, engineering, and technology jobs will grow at double the rate of other occupations over the next decade. At The Discovery Museum, we’re committed to preparing future generations to fill tomorrow’s jobs by getting kids excited about STEM subjects at an early age. With these additional resources, we’ll ensure that kids and families in Bridgeport and across Connecticut have access to the cutting edge technology, exhibits, and learning opportunities that they deserve.”

Click here for a copy of today’s Bond Commission meeting agenda (Discovery Museum on pg. 53):