Children's Discovery Museum

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Children's Discovery Museum
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
January 2020
End Date
September 2021
Activity Type
Counties Affected
St. Louis
St. Louis
Project Overview

As an established Children's Museum, it is time to re-evaluate our policies, programs, displays, & activities. There will be financial support (scholarships) for classroom/community field trips and bussing which will allow children of all abilities and ethnicities to have a museum experience. Data and suggestions collected from the teachers or adult chaperones will be shared with the Grant Committee and Advisory Board for their work. Member families will be given the opportunity to share their options & suggestions through a new survey that can be completed near the expiration date of their annual membership. In addition, we will allocate a portion of the funding to new exhibits that will be determined by staff, consultants, & the community Advisory Board.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Myra Peffer (Bemidji, MN): Myra was the Executive Director of a children’s museum in Vermont, and has consulted with many museums (including the Children’s Discovery Museum) as a now-resident of Minnesota. She was recommended by the Children’s Discovery Museum, and recused herself of that scoring/discussion.
Bette Schmit (St Paul, MN): Bette Schmit is the Exhibit Developer at the Science Museum of Minnesota – recommended by Carol Aegerter, her expertise is in exhibit design and support.
Josh Ney (Minneapolis, MN): Josh Ney is a board member of the Minnesota Humanities Center, and also has experience working with the legislature and the Legacy Committee.

Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact

Laura Benson

Minnesota Humanities Center


Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minn. State Legislature Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 8, (c)
Appropriation Language

(3) $625,000 each year is for grants to other children's museums to pay for start-up costs or new exhibit and program development. Funds are to be distributed through a competitive grant process. The Minnesota Humanities Center must administer these funds using established grant mechanisms.

2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)
  • School program attendance will be measured
  • Community group attendance will be measured
  • Membership attendance will be measured
  • Number of purchased memberships will be noted
  • Scores on School & Community Field Trip Evaluations will be 4.0 or higher
  • Scores on Membership Evaluations will be 4.0 or higher

We are expecting new community groups as well as public/private school field trips to the museum. Classrooms are the window on society, and by providing a means for everyone to visit, we are reaching out to young Minnesotans of all the economic levels, social classes, & ethnic origins. The programs and informal education we provide will expand the experiences of hundreds of children.

We believe that by inspiring more community members to join in conversations about the museum and its future, we will create a place that is responsive to the needs of the community. Through their different spheres of influence, we will have more advocates for the museum who will help to promote it in the community and beyond.

Measurable Outcome(s)
  1. School Program attendance - 115 students from 2 counties (prior to pandemic)
  2. Community group attendance - not measured due to pandemic
  3. Number Attendance - 10,372 visitors since April of 2021
  4. Number of purchased Memberships - increased from 47 members in spring of 2021 to 190 in September of 2021
  5. Scores on School and Community Field Trip Evaluations will be 4.0 or higher - not evaluated due to pandemic
  6. Scores on Membership Evaluations will be 4.0 or higher. - we conducted a survey through Blue Scarf Consulting asking for feedback on Interactivity, post visit, museum hours, memberships. Below is a summary of those results.
Recipient Board Members
Ray Nikkel, Jon Miner, Melanie Jacobson, Vicki Rasmussen-Wilcox, Sara Gabriel, Katie Ryan, Jeff Borg
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Children's Discovery Museum
Street Address
2727 Pokegama Avenue South
Grand Rapids
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

Email the Agency