VSC Logo
Page Header

About Us


Terre Haute Children's Museum - Terre Haute, Indiana

Since it opened its doors in 1988, the Terre Haute Children’s Museum has been committed to creating a fun, dynamic science and technology learning environment for the young people in our community, and in September, the museum will move to a new 26,000-square-foot facility filled with hands-on exhibits that are designed to spark an interest in science, technology engineering and math.


Some of the exhibits that are being planned for the new museum include a two-story tree house, an energy exhibit, a dinosaur dig, a water table, a robotic arm, space exhibits, a TV/weather studio, a seashell exhibit, a construction zone, a health exhibit, and a group of exhibits about airplanes and flight. In the future, the museum also hopes to offer unique, age-appropriate health education programs .


One of our most anticipated exhibits is our agriculture exhibit, which will include opportunities for visitors to “ drive” a tractor and combine, crank an auger, see a working beehive, milk a cow, and much more as they explore their way to understanding how science and technology play a role in agriculture today. To our knowledge, this is the only agriculture exhibit in the state.


As a  Children’s Museum committed to enriching “our children's lives through the exploration of science and technology,” we want to play a significant role in increasing STEM literacy so that all students can learn deeply and think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology. We want to spark an interest in science, technology, engineering and math so that our children will have a better chance of achieving future classroom and career success, and we look forward to sharing our new museum with the the children and families that live and visit our community.


It is Science, or is it History?

     Science centers have a reputation for being hands-on learning environments, and history museum are usually thought of as traditional museums with hands-off exhibits. In Fort Collins, Colorado, an exciting partnership is taking place to redefine and expand the boundaries of a museum.
    Discovery Science Center, a hands-on science center, was housed in an old school building and needed room to grow. The local history museum, the Fort Collins Museum, is located in a beautiful old Carnegie Library building, but with no space to expand and many artifacts behind the scenes. The city-owned history museum and the non-profit science museum combined forces and will be breaking ground for a brand new facility this year.
    The new museum will combine science and history throughout, with hands-on, interactive exhibits that make learning exciting and rewarding for every age.  The two topics cross over more often than you might think!
     Space science is a perfect example.  Science is definitely involved in space flight, rockets, and astronomy, but so is history--we have the history of human space flight, the involvement of people in the exploration of space, and the history of scientists who have paved the way for modern astronomy. We also see how humans have viewed the universe throughout time, and how they have explained the skies through stories and folklore.
     Stay tuned!  The new museum will open in late 2011 or 2012.  In the mean time, the two museums are combined in the small but cozy space of the Fort Collins Museum at 200 Mathews Street, just to get the idea going of a beneficial partnership.  To find out more, visit the website: www.fcmdsc.org.
     --Deborah Price, Virtual Space Community Coordinator, Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center

Robyn Sweet

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

The Boonshoft Museum is excited to be Ohio’s lead partner with the Virtual Space Community, having grown with this dynamic program since 2008. The Museum’s location in Dayton puts us in the heart of Ohio’s rich aeronautics history and bonds us with the current innovations in STEM happening at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.   We’re partnered with EdVention, one of Ohio’s four seats of innovation in STEM education and act as a lead partner with Time Warner Cable’s Connect A Million Minds project.   Space themed exhibits include Hall of the Universe, a sun viewing room with a working solar telescope, planetarium and lasersphere, observatory and NOAA’s Science on a Sphere.


The mission of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is to be the premier regional provider of interactive science learning experiences which enrich the lives of children and adults, enhance the quality of life in our community, and promote a broad understanding of the world. To preserve, protect, and enhance the Museum’s anthropology, geology, paleontology, and biology collections, and to make these collections available for exhibition, education, and research purposes.


Our Vision is to be the premier regional provider of interactive learning experiences which enrich the lives of children of all ages, enhance the quality of life in our community, and promote deeper understanding of the world.


The Dayton Museum of Natural History began in 1893 as a part of the Dayton Public Library and Museum. Over the years, collections gathered by prominent Dayton citizens on their trips around the world were contributed to the museum. Local natural history collections were also contributed. In 1952, a group of citizens organized the Dayton Society of Natural History which took responsibility for the collections and transformed them into the Dayton Museum of Natural History. In 1958, the Museum of Natural History's main building on Ridge Avenue was completed. In 1991, a new planetarium and expanded collection and exhibit space were added. The Society remained committed to the idea of inspiring children to enthusiastically embrace science as a vital aspect of their lives through exhibits and programs that were both entertaining and educational.

Meanwhile, in 1993 a group of interested community leaders formed a steering committee to explore the idea of creating the Children's Museum of Dayton. This group believed that a children's museum could reach children ages two through twelve and instill in them a lifelong love of learning as well as an appreciation for the world around them. To this end, the group formed a governing board, launched a mobile outreach program, displayed model exhibits, and began planning for a permanent home in downtown Dayton.

As the Children's Museum movement gained visibility, the similarity between its philosophy and the Museum of Natural History's mission became very clear. In the summer of 1995, the Children's Museum Board and Board of the Dayton Society of Natural History began discussing ways to collaborate. By January, 1996, these talks resulted in an enthusiastic agreement to fully merge boards under the umbrella of the Dayton Society of Natural History *. As a result of the merger, the Dayton Museum of Discovery was born and assumed all public, educational and programming functions previously associated with the Dayton Museum of Natural History.

The board commissioned a professionally-developed exhibits master plan that would take into account all of the resources and potential brought to the table by both organizations and by May 1999 Phases I and II of an extensive exhibits master plan had been completed.

The name change to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery occurred in January, 1999 in recognition of Oscar Boonshoft, one of the Museum's most dedicated friends.

* The Dayton Society of Natural History is the parent organization of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and its sister organization, SunWatch Indian Village - - a museum of the area's 12th century Fort Ancient Indians.


The Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums, affiliated with the Association of Children’s Museums, and is a governing member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers. In addition, the Charles E. Exley, Jr. Wild Ohio indoor zoo is fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.