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Supporting Effective Teaching and Learning

Theriot, Edward [1], Folkerth, Dianne [1].

Purpose and Practicalities in Museum Education Programs.

The mission of the Texas Memorial Museum is to create awareness and appreciation of the past, present and future of biological diversity. The Museum provides educational and outreach programs for K-12 students and teachers and based on themes from our collections and scientific research. The Museum also hosts public events and summer programs focused on family audiences. Our strategic goal is to engage the public in the discovery process. Tactically this is accomplished by using examples of Texas-based discoveries. Texplorers! summer camp focuses on the themes of Texas nature and wildlife and Texas fossils and geology. Program activities often utilize University of Texas and Museum scientific staff. Museum Express, an outreach program for grades K-8, takes scientific and educational staff out to schools with science and nature programming. Identification Day, a biannual public event, brings together the Museum's scientific staff to examine and identify fossils and rocks for the public. The Museum makes use of digital products that are re-purposed between educational and scientific uses. Currently, a "virtual reality" exhibit showcases Texas specimens scanned in The University's CT lab; and Science Live! @ the Museum provides a tour of museum collections via a live webcast and filmed field outings. This science discovery approach has several advantages. First, by focusing on the realm of experience of the visitor, we emphasize that biodiversity is local. Second, we provide "scientist" role models and a sense that science is approachable for all. Third, these programs efficiently use our limited staff and material resources. Finally, underlying our educational programs with our collections and scientific programs underscores the value of collections and science to our supporters. Come and learn about the hows and whys of the Texas Memorial Museum educational and public programs at this informational session.


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Related Links:
Texas Memorial Museum


1 - University of Texas at Austin, Texas Memorial Museum, 2400 Trinity St., Austin, TX, 78705, USA

Keywords:
museum collections
museum specimens
education outreach
informal science education
K-12 education
exhibits
discovery.

Presentation Type: Education Forum Session:Informational Session
Session: F 3c-1
Location: 406/Hilton
Date: Saturday, August 13th, 2005
Time: 11:00 AM
Abstract ID:651


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