The Discovery Museums

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The Discovery Museums
The Children's Discovery Museum, South Acton MA.jpg
The Children's Discovery Museum
Established 1982
Location 177 Main Street (Route 27)
Acton, Massachusetts 01720
Coordinates 42°21′49″N 71°08′02″W / 42.363614°N 71.133960°W / 42.363614; -71.133960
Type Children's museum
Director Neil H. Gordon
Public transit access MBTA: South Acton

The Discovery Museums is a non-profit science and children's museum in Acton, Massachusetts, United States. Established in 1982, the Children's Discovery Museum and the Science Discovery Museum share a 4.5-acre (18,000 m2) campus.


The Children's Discovery Museum was founded in 1982 by Donald B. Verger, a math teacher and naturalist.[1] The Science Discovery Museum opened in 1988.[2] An additional parcel that increased the campus size by half was purchased and a new master plan was commissioned in 2008.[3]

Current exhibits[edit]

The Children's Discovery Museum current exhibits include the Assabet River Water Table, Bessie's Play Diner, Air Play, Backyard at Night, Sensations,[4] S.S. Discover, the Chain Reaction Room, the Adventure fort, and the Train Room.[5] Former exhibits include the Rainbow Room, Safari Room, Dinosaur Room, and Grandma's Attic.[6]

The Science Discovery Museum permanent exhibits include Earth Science, Inventor's Workshop, Rubber Ball Music Wall,[7] and Sea of Clouds.


The Children's Discovery Museum is housed in a 3-story Victorian house, built in 1880, that has 3,500 square feet (330 m2) of floor space in ten rooms. The Science Discovery Museum is housed in a purpose-built postmodern building[8] designed by E. Verner Johnson & Associates.[9] It has 8,200 square feet (760 m2) of floor space.

Former Directors[edit]

  • Donald Verger
  • Kathleen Compton
  • Deborah Gilpin (1992-2003)[10]
  • Michael W. Judd


  1. ^ Bergeron, Chris (2007-11-04). "25 years of Discovery". MetroWest Daily News. 
  2. ^ Weld, Elizabeth New (1989-04-09). "Discovering science hands-on". Boston Globe. 
  3. ^ "Discovery Museums picks Cambridge Seven for project". Boston Business Journal. 2008-03-06. 
  4. ^ Heaney, Sally (2004-09-16). "New exhibition at Discovery Museum". Boston Globe. 'Sensations! Sensory Exploration for the Very Young' is a new Children's Discovery Museum exhibition... that will be open to the public for the first time... 
  5. ^ "It's full steam ahead at Acton's Discovery Museum". Lowell Sun. 2001-10-11. The Children's Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton, is right on track with its new Train Room... 
  6. ^ Anderson, Leslie (2002-09-19). "Discovery Museums mark 20 years of learning". Boston Globe. 
  7. ^ Burns, Nancy V. (2004-01-15). "Inventor's gadgets bring stirring music to students' ears". The Boston Globe. The Discovery Museums in Acton commissioned [Leonard] Solomon to build a permanent exhibit in 1998. He came up with the Rubber Ball Music Wall... 
  8. ^ Campbell, Robert (1988-08-09). "Post-Modernism put to excellent use in Acton". Boston Globe. Surely the architectural style known as Post-Modernism has never been used to better effect than at the new Science Discovery Museum in Acton. 
  9. ^ Cook, Joan (1987-11-22). "Going On in the Northeast". New York Times. 
  10. ^ Floyd, Jesse A. (2003-06-28). "Museum makes a 'Discovery' with new director". Milford Daily News. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°27′53.26″N 71°27′22.18″W / 42.4647944°N 71.4561611°W / 42.4647944; -71.4561611