The Montshire Museum of Science helps people of all ages experience the joy of science by maximizing opportunities for discovery. Montshire has been a vital part of our community for over 40 years, and we are constantly working to develop our operations to best serve our community for the next 40.
Mission, Vision, and Values
The Montshire’s mission is to awaken and encourage a lifelong interest in science through exhibits and programming dedicated to hands-on discovery and education for people of all ages.
Unique to this mission is Montshire’s 110-acre New England riverfront setting, which fosters deep and creative learning in both the physical and natural sciences.
Experiencing the joy of science is at the heart of what we do.
Effectively delivering on this promise requires a focused approach guided by the following six brand pillars.
“Discovery” for the Montshire means learning science through an interactive process. The act of “doing science” provides effective learning opportunities, which surprise, enlighten, and empower visitors. Exhibits and programs are collections of learning experiences that interrelate and support shared learning goals, and the accuracy of science content is paramount. We emphasize genuine experience with real phenomena, objects, and natural specimens. We aim to make connections and meaning with real-world experiences. We strive to provide new, rewarding experiences with each visit, and encourage visitors to share their thinking, wonders, observations, and insights.
The Museum views its “100 Acres” as an expansive, integrated indoor and outdoor experience. This landscape makes the Montshire unique and unlocks special “place-based” learning opportunities to our visitors. We take a holistic approach to designing our indoor/outdoor learning environment, and our exhibits and trails promote exploration of our northern New England landscape.
At the Montshire, “Aesthetics” means art and architecture optimized for science learning. Art and aesthetics spark creativity, connections, and excitement about science and the Montshire. Artists offer valuable and memorable additions to our visitor experience. Our aesthetics fit the context of our northern New England environment.
Our experiences need to be relevant and engaging to all visitors. The Montshire is for people of all ages, backgrounds, learning styles, and physical/cognitive abilities. The Museum should be easy to approach, enter, use, navigate, and understand. Exhibit experiences resonate on multiple levels, regardless of one’s knowledge of science. Programming offers breadth and depth to serve a variety of ages and interests.
We embody “Friendliness” by being warm, inviting, and comfortable. Visitor amenities, comfort, and customer service are priorities. The Museum respects visitors in all of our interactions and communications. We provide a safe, intimate learning environment, and demonstrate that science and museums need not be uncomfortable or threatening.
We strive for effective collaboration and outreach. We are responsive to our evolving community and its needs and interests, and we foster a sense of community ownership among visitors, staff, trustees, volunteers, and partners. We select partners carefully, with attention to cost and mission-based outcomes. We maintain proactive efforts to engage members of our community who are economically disadvantaged, and our outreach programs support K-12 science education throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. Our professional staff supports and engages with the larger science-museum community, and we act as a responsible and supportive “corporate” citizen.
Our Strategic Goals
The Montshire is always thinking strategically about our programs, processes, and unique 100-acre landscape in order to strengthen our offerings and further engage our communities in the joy of discovery.
In 2012, the Montshire’s board of trustees and staff launched the first phase of the Montshire 2020planning process to articulate the Museum’s unique attributes, refine our mission and strategic priorities, and set in motion a myriad of new projects.
The 2016-2020 Strategic Plan articulates the second phase of Montshire 2020, continuing the Museum’s planning process.