Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive


39 episodes, 1957, WGBH (Boston)

From WNET:

"'Discovery' produced by WGBH-TV aims to make learning about the world in which we live an adventure for young people -- an advantage that opens the doors to many fields of scientific knowledge.  Living animals and plants and other visuals become the illustrations for what the producers of “Discovery” call “how learning” -- how something causes something else, how change in one situation is related to another, how animals are adapted to live in their specific environments, and how plants, animals and man are related to one another.  Airing not only to stimulate intellectual curiosity about the world around us, but hoping also to encourage creative activity on the part of young viewers, emphasis is placed on what the child can do at home.  Guest on the programs include scientific experts as well as boys and girls with science hobbies.  The presentations are straightforward and the demonstrations interesting and unusual enough to command the attention of upper elementary grade students, junior high, and even high school biology classes.

Featured Personality: Mary Lela Grimes

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 minerals, 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 in the elementary science teaching program.  She also did newspaper, radio and TV work 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 MS) and there began working with WGBH-TV in planning science programs for children.  It was here that the idea of “Discovery” was born."