Discovery Magnet School
Discovery Museum staff and trustees worked with representatives of Bridgeport Public Schools, the City of Bridgeport, and Sacred Heart University since 2004 to establish the Discovery Magnet School, a pre-K to 8 interdistrict public magnet school with a science theme located on Discovery Museum grounds.
This unique school combines the best hands-on “museum” learning techniques with the most effective standards-based educational strategies to create a learning environment that truly educates, excites and engages young people while it prepares them for the challenges of the 21st century.
Construction began in the fall of 2009 and was completed during the 2011-12 school year. Students in Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4, and Kindergarten began at a rented space Fall 2010. Enrollment is now open to students ages 3 to 13 (Gr. 8) from Bridgeport and the surrounding communities with a targeted mix of 70% urban and 30% suburban students. This school serves approximately 500 children. Former Superintendent of Westport Schools, Claire Gold, was at the heart of the project. CT Post 2011
Interdistrict Discovery Magnet School represents an important educational opportunity for greater Bridgeport and surrounding towns. Not only does it provide a high quality educational choice for students living in the city, it also gives suburban students a chance to take part in specialized programs not available in their home districts. Because of its location within Veteran’s Memorial Park, environmental stewardship will be an overarching theme of the school, its facility and program. In addition, the school’s proximity to The Discovery Museum opens up countless opportunities for exciting collaborations between Discovery Magnet School, The Discovery Museum and the larger community.
Projected examples of these collaborations include:
• Special enrichment activities for students and adults taught either by school faculty or museum staff that take advantage of the unique resources of each;
• Ongoing “citizen scientist” programs that engage students and the community with the natural environment of the surrounding 90 acre urban park in a thoughtful and informed way;
• Showcase events and exhibits at the museum that feature student work and complement the school’s curriculum;
• Joint learning festivals and fairs run by students, school faculty, and museum staff meant to educate and inform people about science issues affecting their daily lives (health, environment, technology, etc.);
• Curriculum projects developed jointly by school faculty and museum staff that are piloted with magnet school students and then shared with the larger educational community.