WGBH Openvault

Discovery; Discovering Discovery

Film transfer, 12/2006

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Discovering Discovery
Series Description

"Discovery," produced by WGBH-TV, aims to make learning about the world in which we live an adventure for young people -- an adventure that opens the doors to ? of scientific knowledge. Living animals and plants become illustrations for what the producers of "Discovery " call "how learnings" -- ? thing causes something else, how change in one situation is related to ? animals are adapted to live in their specific environments, and how plants and man are related to one another. Aiming not only to stimulate intelligent curiosity about the world around us, but hoping also to encourage creative ? on the part of young viewers, emphasis is placed on what the child can do. Guests on the programs include scientific experts as well as boys and girls with science hobbies. The presentations are atraightforward and the demonstrations are interesting and unusual enough to command the attention of upper elementary school students, junior high and even high school biology classes. The producer, writer and narrator of the "Discovery" series is a young woman from North Carolina: Mary Lela Grimes. All of her life she has had nature hobbies such as collecting butterflies, keeping wild pets, naming plants, studying and watching birds. After her graduation as a Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina, she became director of the Durham Children's Museum and wrote a daily column on nature for the Durham Herald Sun. When she and her husband moved to Boston, she joined the staff of the Massachusetts Audubon Society, working on the elementary science teaching program. She also did newspaper, radio and TV for the society and helped organize and direct the Society's Wildwood Nature Camp (?) at Camp Barre, North Carolina. In 1954, Mrs. Grimes was awarded a fellowship to study communications by the National Wildlife Federation. She spent a year at Boston University (where she received her M.S.) and then began working ? in planning science programs for children. It was here that the idea of "Discovery" was born.

Series release date: 1956

Program Description

A “ behind the scenes” look at producing the WGBH program “ Discovery” in the late 1950’s. WGBH Staff shown include: Mary Lela Grimes, Betty Sears, Patty Hurley, Robert Larson, and William Cavness. Produced by The Boston University Motion Picture Workshop and WGBH TV Boston, MA. Written by Will Lewis, Narrated by William Cavness, Recorded by William Morton, Directed and Photographed by Robert Katzeff and Will Lewis.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Grimes, Mary Lela (Series Producer)
Chicago: “Discovery; Discovering Discovery,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 24, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4B8F22C99BD0473CBBEA19FD9688513B.
MLA: “Discovery; Discovering Discovery.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 24, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4B8F22C99BD0473CBBEA19FD9688513B>.
APA: Discovery; Discovering Discovery. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_4B8F22C99BD0473CBBEA19FD9688513B
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