The Museum’s main building was completed in 1958, a planetarium, expanded exhibition space, and large additions to the collection was added in 1991. The Society became more and more dedicated to the scientific discovery and the educational inspiration of children in the community.
The Society, along with a group of community leaders began developing specialized programs and exhibits at the Museum to entertain and educate children of all ages. The idea of creating a dedicated Children’s Museum in Dayton was officially underway.
As the success of the Children’s Museum gained visibility and momentum, a partnership between it and the Museum of Natural History was developing. In 1996, a merger was agreed upon - the Children’s Museum and the Natural History Museum was joined under the umbrella of the Dayton Society of Natural History. As a direct result, the Dayton Museum of Discovery was born.
Through the years that followed, the board commissioned the development of professional exhibits, extensive improvements, and even a name change was in development. As of January 1999, one of the Museum’s most dedicated friends, Oscar Boonshoft, became the new namesake of the Museum. Hence, why it is now known as the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery.
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.” The Museum aims 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.” The Museum is now one of the premiere discovery centers for children in Ohio.
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