The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is Dayton’s natural history museum for kids and its a great place to go on a winter’s afternoon or hot summer’s day when you’ve run out of ideas. Not to say that it cannot be your first destination with little ones. Go early in the morning for the best action.
Since we’ve been members for the past 10 years or so, I’ve always wanted to see a little more on the science side and less on the entertainment side, only because I worry about that our kids are not learning enough science. But I’ve never been disappointed by their education programs, particularly the preschool kaleidescope program and summer camps like “Harry Potter.” And I’m so glad they’ve got a new President and CEO Mark Meister. He wrote such a great letter about Oscar Boonshoft on the day Mr. Boonshoft recently passed away (March 23, 2010). As he writes:
Even though the STEM acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education had not been coined yet, it was Oscar’s commitment to STEM education for youth that helped the DSNH shape its vision for the expansion of the Dayton Museum of Natural History that began in the late 1990’s.
And he did. In 1999, Mr. Boonshoft made the cornerstone gift that would name the museum and ensure the success of the renovation campaign, and a few years later, made a major endowment gift to provide the basis of financial stability to the museum. There are many residents involved it the museum’s success but I’m sure they can always use a few more. Besides their Board of Trustees, the museum has an Boonshoft Associates Board in charge of the “fun” raisers like the Gala, the Science of Wine, and Hops over the Moon, a Sunwatch Associates Board, as well as the “Friends of the Dayton Society of Natural History.”
For kids over 21, mark your calendars for “Pub Science” at Blind Bob’s Tavern in the Oregon District the second Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. And if you’ve got friends who have kids under 21 coming to visit this summer, be sure to stop by the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery for a quick tour.