The Discovery Museums Awarded More Than $142,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services To Develop Interactive Family Math Exhibit

Share this post:


The Discovery Museums Awarded More Than $142,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services To Develop Interactive Family Math Exhibit

Yes, It’s Math! exhibit will strengthen family skills in “math play” and “math conversation” and build a buffer against math anxiety and gender stereotypes

Acton, MA — The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded $142,971.00 to The Discovery Museums to support the development of an interactive math exhibit and programs designed to strengthen parent and caregiver skills in facilitating math-related play and conversation with children.

The approximately 750 ft² hands-on, interactive gallery will be designed to make math visible while simultaneously making it enjoyable, achievable, and relevant. Through playful exhibits, programs, and resources, Yes, It’s Math! will focus on the 21st century learning skills of critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills.  It will be designed to strengthen families’ ability to enjoy math together, and address the emotions and beliefs about math that can create barriers to success.

The exhibit will be for families with children of all ages, but will focus especially on parents and caregivers visiting with children aged 7-10, the prime age for emergent math anxiety. It is slated to open in 2017 as part a planned renovation and expansion of the Museums. Fundraising for both the math exhibit and the museum expansion project continues.  

For this funding cycle, IMLS received 583 applications requesting a total of $73,954,575 for its Museums for America and National Leadership Grants for Museums programs; 217 museum projects were awarded a total of $25,996,400. The Discovery Museums received funding through the highly competitive peer-reviewed Museums for America program.

“IMLS helps museums provide opportunities for visitors to experience science, history, art, technology and living collections in unique and interactive ways,” said IMLS Acting Director Maura Marx. “With this federal support, museums all over the country will be better equipped to care for their collections, create exhibitions and learning experiences for visitors, and contribute to a better quality of life for their communities.”

“Research has shown that the amount of “number talk” caregivers engage in with children is strongly correlated with children’s later performance in math and science. Also, many adults unconsciously transmit math anxiety, gender stereotypes, or negative beliefs about math to children,” said CEO Neil Gordon of The Discovery Museums. “We’d like to rewrite families’ academic and emotional relationships with math in order to give every child the best chance at success. We are thrilled to have the support of IMLS for this work.”

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Discovery Museums

The Discovery Museums are the children’s and science museums of Metrowest Boston. Two great museums—for one admission price—blend the best of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning on a beautiful 4.5-acre campus in Acton, MA, about 20 miles west of Boston. The Museums serve families and schools from towns throughout the region, with a commitment to informal education that enhances classroom learning. The hands-on, playful exhibits, developed by professional educators, inspire curiosity, exploration, experimentation and imagination. The Discovery Museums combine manageable scale, convenient location and free parking to provide a fun and engaging experience where children and adults can discover their world together.  For more information please visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

School Year Hours and Admission

Children’s Discovery Museum

Tuesday through Sunday:  9am to 4:30pm

First Friday night of the month (free admission):  4:30pm to 8:30pm


Science Discovery Museum

Open Tuesday through Friday: 1pm to 4:30pm

Saturday & Sunday:  10am to 4:30pm

First Friday night of the month (free admission):  4:30pm to 8:30pm


Both Museums are closed on Mondays during the school year


Admission is $11.50 for adults and children, $10.50 for seniors. Children under 1, members, and teachers are always free.






Recent Posts

More Posts in

Skip to content