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Jacqlyn Kirkland - Educational Programming for Museum Audiences

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BC: The End

FC: Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center Mobile, Alabama | *I apologize for lack of audience photographs. The Exploreum has a strict policy on photographing visitors (even when used in student project).

1: After students (grades 2nd-4th) arrive at the Exploreum, they excitedly follow the teacher up the stairs and through the double-doors into the classroom for today's lesson - a grasshopper dissection. | The Gulf Coast Exploreum has exciting homeschool classes available for families looking to supplement their science curriculum. They will explore physics, biology, engineering, and other subjects. Classes are tailored for grades PreK-12th and provide educational programming, hands-on experiments, and time to socialize with other students. | Problem: How to make the Exploreum's Homeschool Program appeal to all ages and their parents. Solution: Offer affordable classes on a variety of themes. Also, the atmosphere should be fun and family oriented.

2: Problem: How to get students excited about learning while in a formal classroom setting? Solution: Allow students to work in groups and freely interact ("be active participants" Johnson et al, p. 77) with teacher in an informal manner. Hands-on experiences and tools of the trade also promote excitement. | Program: The Exploreum's Homeschool Program covers many subjects, but today's lesson deals with the dissection of a Louisiana luber. This lesson introduces students to the concept of disassembling and observing something in order to determine its internal structure. | Instructor Katherine Hogan

3: Louisiana luber

4: Problem: How to get students excited (especially squeamish ones) about dissecting a grasshopper. | Solution: Appeal to their curiosity about the human body and compare and contrast it with that of the grasshopper. | Question: "Do you see the grasshopper's back leg? That is his femur. Do you have a femur?"

5: Another question: "What is one thing we did not see when dissecting the grasshopper? If we cut our hand, what would come out? That's right, "red blood" Why is that?"

6: Problem: How to appeal to different learning styles and levels of knowledge. Solution: Make sure the program is multi-modal. Some students will learn best through discussion, through visual references (PowerPoint and specimens), or hands-on experiments (dissections). | Problem: What do parents do while their children are "in class"? Solution: Parents should be encouraged to have fun and learn along with their children. Parents have important roles as supporters of their children. References: The Museum Educator's Manual, pp. 76-77

7: Johnson, et al (2009) states that "museums are ideally suited for homeschool curriculum" (p. 81). This is especially true if museums do not approach "homeschoolers as [a] traditional school group by focusing on state standards or expecting [they] have familiarity with standard school rituals" (p. 82). | There were no evaluation or marketing materials available. Program information spreads mainly by word-of-mouth and interaction by the Exploreum staff with family members.

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  • By: Jacqlyn K.
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  • Title: Jacqlyn Kirkland - Educational Programming for Museum Audiences
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago