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A NEW PLACE TO PLAY

Become a part of the story

Remember all the inventions you dreampt up as a child?

Remember when games with friends created timeless days?

Remember when a challenge seemed like a fun adventure?

At the Children’s Discovery Museum, we create an immersive experience that ignites curiosity and celebrates learning through play. Through interactive exhibits and programs, the museum helps children develop a foundation for understanding the world around them, provides a sense of connection to their environment and community, and deepens understanding of their own capabilities.

A New Place to Play Campaign raises funds for the creation of a brand new, state-of-the-art children's museum.

OUR STORY

For nearly 30 years the Children’s Discovery Museum has welcomed tens of thousands of families into its creative space, but the Augusta museum continued to face limitations in its ability to serve the community due to its small size, challenging location, and limited capacity. The Central Maine community needed more opportunities for its children beyond what we could provide.


In 2014, we set out on a mission to grow. Since then, the museum has built a network of supporters, board members, and staff and has gained wide-spread community support, receiving contributions from 13 Waterville area Corporate Donors and 32 Waterville area individual donors. After years of searching for the perfect location, we purchased the historic building at 7 Eustis Parkway in Waterville, using funds from the competitive USDA Rural Development program, and have begun renovating the facility. The newly-imagined Museum is positioned to become a powerful resource for the community, with expertly designed exhibits that provide an awe-inspiring, fresh, fun, experience that celebrates learning through play.

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COMMUNITY NEED

​Waterville, like many similar rural Maine Cities, has been struggling to bounce back from the rapid and widespread closing of mills. The museum has an opportunity to strengthen the community as a whole.

  • Waterville has an aging population and rates of high unemployment, poverty and children on free/reduced lunch

  • It is critical we focus on the community's most vulnerable: children

  • Cultural facilities that encourage hands-on learning and play support community children's healthy growth and development of critical life skills

  • The museum exhibits and programs provide an introduction to the trades, as well as an opportunity for children to build 21st century skills like critical thinking, creativity, leadership, collaboration, and communication.

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THE POWER OF PLAY

A recent American Academy of Pediatrics clinical report, “The Power of Play,” makes the case that play is critical for healthy childhood development, stating that play:


  • helps children experience and understand their emotions;

  • encourages children to think, learn, and understand their world;

  • provides an opportunity to practice communicating by listening, speaking and understanding

  • encourages task persistence, problem-solving or using words to resolve disputes;

  • allows for healthy brain development, enhancing brain development and function;

  • encourages the development of 21st-century skills like creativity, innovation, collaboration and healthy communication

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NEXT STEPS

  • Exhibit Hall: Schematic Design is completed, and the exhibit design is now in the Design Development stage. The exhibit team is currently finalizing design details and collecting quotes and bids for fabrication.

  • Building Purchase: On November 18th, 2020, the museum purchased 7 Eustis Parkway in Waterville using a USDA Rural Development Loan and Grant.

  • Building Renovations: A USDA Rural Development Loan and Grant is covering the cost of renovations. The museum is in the process of hiring a General Contractor to begin rennovations.

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JOIN US

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THE TEAM

 
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RUSTY LAMER

Lead Designer

Exhibit Renderings and Idea Boards by Field Magnet, LLC

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