Maine Discovery Museum is providing almost 500 Discovery Kits to Bangor elementary school students for summer school and enrichment programming.

“This summer, we are privileged and honored to have the opportunity to support our dedicated and passionate teachers with special School Edition Discovery Kits including a customized teacher packet, books, lab tools, and art materials,” said Trudi Plummer, director of education of Maine Discovery Museum. “This summer teachers are working hard to catch students up on science and so many other aspects of learning that were impacted by COVID-19 all the while making learning fun. Our Discovery Kits will support teachers at six Bangor schools by bringing hands-on science fun, real lab tools and art-making supplies and projects, [science] career trading cards, science books and so much more while engaging students in authentic science work.”

“The Bangor School Department is pleased to partner with the Maine Discovery Museum through the purchase of science boxes that will provide children attending Summer School or Summer Enrichment with hands-on learning,” noted Kathy Harris-Smedberg, interim superintendent of schools for the Bangor School Department. “With the students so actively engaged, skills such as reading and math that are embedded in the science content will also improve. Children will also be exposed to science content at a deeper level, spurring them on to the understanding that school can be fun!”

Niles Parker, executive director of Maine Discovery Museum explained, “Although the COVID-19 pandemic has required us to keep our doors closed, we’re really proud of the creativity and hard work that has gone into the Discovery Kits. Our staff has worked to create Kits that are not only packed with great science and activities but have also brought a small part of the Maine Discovery Museum into kids’ homes.” 

The Discovery Kits: School Edition provide extensive information and activities in the areas of chemistry, ocean sciences, geology, insects, and math. Kate Dickerson, founder & director of the Maine Science Festival (a program of the Maine Discovery Museum) noted, “The Discovery Kits take some of the remarkable, innovative science ideas being studied in Maine and make them real and tangible for students. We haven’t been able to reach this audience over the pandemic – our online forums have been geared towards high school and up — but we’re happy to reach them with Discovery Kits. The Discovery Kits also helps make scientists more visible and relatable, thanks to the Maine Science Festival Trading Cards that are part of the kits. While our main goal this summer is to make science fun, we hope to strike a spark that will turn into a lifelong curiosity and understanding of science.”

Since March 2020, Maine Discovery Museum’s Discovery Kits have been a well-received and meaningful way to connect with and support the families in our community and beyond by bringing our signature hands-on, fun, STEAM programs into children’s homes. We have produced thousands of kits, reaching 37 different Maine towns and cities, and states including New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Texas.

Parker explained, “The Discovery Kits provide students with some MDM programming outside of the building, and we are excited to welcome back children to our summer camps starting July 26. We are also continuing to make important upgrades to our building systems and exhibits so we can safely re-open this fall.” Full details about MDM summer camps are at mainediscoverymuseum.org/summercamp.