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February 6, 2024

Discovery Museum set two records for donor support, program participation in 2023

Children and adults play on a rocky playscape. Photo | Courtesy of the Discovery Museum The Discovery Museum in Acton

A local hands-on museum aiming to educate children about science and nature in an entertaining manner saw a record number of people served in 2023.

The Discovery Museum, an attraction located on a 4.5-acre campus in Acton, served nearly 253,000 people in 2023, according to a press release issued by the museum on Monday. This figure represents a 24% increase from 2022, with more than 53,000 of those individuals coming from the museum’s classroom-based Traveling Science Workshop enrichment program, which serves pre-kindergarten through 8th grade students in 116 municipalities.

The museum’s revenue grew to $3.8 million, a 22% increase from 2022. More than 1,200 donors contributed to the museum in 2023, a record for the facility. 

A bar graph
The Discovery Museum has seen an increase in donations since 2010.

“This next year we will take the opportunity to evaluate how best to build upon a very solid foundation to deliver even more joyful learning experiences to our existing community and beyond,” Marie Beam, CEO of the Discovery Museum, said in the release.

Beam took on the role of CEO in January, following the retirement of Neil Gordon from the role. Beam, a longtime fundraising expert in the education space, has been with the museum since 2013.

The Discovery Museum put an emphasis on its own sustainability in 2023, launching a 5-year plan towards becoming carbon neutral by utilizing on-site solar generation. 

First opened in 1982, the Discovery Museum reopened in 2018 following extensive renovations. The museum was named a finalist for the 2023 National Medal for Museum Service, an award issued by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services in Washington D.C.

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