Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is expanding, not just its’ walls and onsite offerings, but through classroom outreach in Rutherford County and outlying counties. Touting the Center’s programs and partnerships, CEO Tara MacDougall, newly-hired Education Specialist Meredith Hilleary, and Murfreesboro City Schools Board of Education Member Collier Smith headed to Washington, D.C. in early May to meet with Tennessee’s Congressional delegation.
The lobbying group met with Senator Lamar Alexander, Representative Diane Black, Representative Marsha Blackburn, and Representative Chuck Fleischmann as well as their senior education/science staff members informing and exchanging ideas with the delegation regarding present programs and expansion goals for students and their teachers throughout Tennessee. Additionally, they met with representatives from the Association of Science-Technology Centers and the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences which is endowing several grants to the hands-on science museum.
“It was exciting to share with our congressional leaders the Discovery Center’s promotion of accidental learning in hopes of building much-needed interests in science-based professions. They seemed keenly interested in promoting and helping achieve our mission, “said Discovery Center CEO Tara MacDougall.
“The Discovery Center gives students an opportunity to become excited about learning and gives teachers the tools to improve how they educate,” said U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander. “Helping students enjoy learning and encouraging them to dream big which enables them to succeed, both in the classroom and in life.”
The Discovery Center now hosts 130,000 visitors a year and is reaching out and sharing hands-on science manipulatives and four educator specialists with 4th graders in all of Murfreesboro City Schools on a bi-weekly basis. The popular Parents and Tots program is now offered in Cannon County and in August, the Center will be rolling out its’ new STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts and Math) Bus where trained educators will take curriculum-based tools to schools all over Middle Tennessee and beyond. After school engineering is being offered and soon the Discovery Center will implement “Science Saturdays” for middle and high school students.
“I am impressed with the Discovery Center’s vision but am more so appreciative of the time, energy and investment they are making with Murfreesboro’s 4th graders with no expense to our schools, “ said Collier Smith, Murfreesboro City Schools Board Member. “These meetings afforded me the chance to share about our exemplary partnership and the good work the Center is doing for our students. It is a time of growth for the Center and I foresee national recognition for their ingenuity in STEAM education while remaining a fun destination for children and their parents.”
Discovery Center at Murfree Spring is a non-profit youth museum dedicated to inspiring exploration, enhancing learning, and building confidence through diverse programs and exhibits. Visit us in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and our website, www.exporethedc.org.