The Discovery Museum was founded by museum professionals Sarah Orleans and
Roree Iris-Williams, who were inspired by television's "The Magic School Bus" while
working for a museum in Philadelphia. Their Cherry Hill, New Jersey, museum for
children celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2004.
From the beginning, the museum had strong community support. Approximately 65,000 visitors were expected the first year; the museum
The museum features live exhibits, such as snakes and bugs, as well as interactive areas – seashore, giant bubbles, newsroom, television news set, veterinary hospital, farm stand, diner and more. Toddlers have their own play area.
The museum also is involved in the community through teacher workshops, reading programs and after-school programs. For example, Stuffee, a seven-foot doll, helps teach about health and anatomy in free workshops, after-school programs, community events and other programs. He has a beating heart and organs made of cloth material that can be removed for study. Teachers learn how to use Stuffee in workshops, and then he visits their classrooms.
The Discovery Museum's founders and staff members believe that the community educates the community's children. Parents who come into the facility discover new ways that they can be involved in their children's lives. They volunteer at school or interact with children at the museum and in other community programs and events.
Comments Sarah Orleans, "The public has been here to fulfill their needs. Now they're very excited about the program that Subaru is actually funding, which is the idea of hands-on science education. That was our mission from the start."
Learn more about the Garden State Discovery Museum's interactive areas and programs by logging on to www.discoverymuseum.com or call (856) 424-1233. Find local children's museums at the Association of Children's Museums Web site – www.childrensmuseums.org.