“Rocking on” at the Canadian Museum of Nature with new virtual school workshops

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OTTAWA, Oct. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – As the pandemic has ended school trips, the Canadian Museum of Nature is now reaching schools across the country with bilingual virtual workshops.

Curricula are tailored to the needs of each class, with a museum educator providing teachers with an engaging alternative to teaching in school.

A workshop based on the Rocks and Minerals Curriculum, a subject in great demand, leads the way. Following the success of the pilot program earlier this year, reservations are now open for workshops starting October 5th. The museum has also developed an ocean-themed workshop which will start in January.

“Teachers want innovative virtual learning opportunities for their students with a high level of interactivity and engagement,” says Dana Albright Murchison, program manager at the museum. “Before the pandemic, our most requested school workshop was our hands-on mineral discovery lab. Feedback from teachers indicated that it was addressing a key need in supporting their delivery of this curriculum content. It made perfect sense for us to pivot and create an equally dynamic and interactive virtual workshop that would allow us to support teachers in their own classrooms.

From the comfort of their classroom, teachers and their students can learn about the rock cycle, rock types, mineral formation, and mineral uses while connecting with knowledgeable museum interpreters. The workshop is aimed at students in grades 3 to 7 (Quebec: cycles 2 and 3 of elementary school and cycle 1 of secondary school).

The 45-minute introduction to geology includes dynamic demonstrations by a scientific interpreter in the museum’s laboratory (now refitted as a studio with multi-camera presentations), high-definition video clips, close-ups of real specimens, possibilities for questions and answers, and a virtual tour of the museum’s Earth Gallery.

“Many teachers seek help with STEM subjects from trusted sources,” says Albright Murchison. “We provide the ability to connect with real museum science through an authentic educational program that students can access directly from the classroom.” Museum educators benefit from access to the museum’s national collections and the contribution of its scientific experts.

During the very successful pilot project of these virtual workshops last spring, the museum mobilized nearly 1,000 students, in urban centers and remote regions, from the Prairies to Quebec.

“This virtual offering has allowed our school programs to go beyond the museum and across the country,” says Albright Murchison. “It’s really exciting to expand our national reach.

Feedback from teachers has been very positive.

“As an educator, I enjoyed the organization of the material,” commented Morgan Rose, grade 3 teacher at Buckingham Elementary School in Quebec. “The performer was very engaging and the students were extremely invested in the content. They had tons of questions and worked extremely hard to manage their excitement and energy so that they could pay close attention! “

The museum’s educational team has developed a new workshop for Kindergarten to Grade 2 students on life in a Pacific pond. Coming up in January will be “Coastal Adventure” where kids will learn about the characteristics and basic needs of living starfish and other pond creatures.

The virtual school workshops are available in both official languages.

To book a workshop, go to nature.ca/zone-professeur.

For questions about school programs, email [email protected] or call 1-800-263-4433.

The Canadian Museum of Nature thanks the Turnbull Family Community Building Foundation and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for their generous contribution to the Canadian Museum of Nature’s school programs.

About the Canadian Museum of NatureSave the world with evidence, knowledge and inspiration! The Canadian Museum of Nature provides evidence-based ideas, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature’s past, present and future. It does this through scientific research, a collection of 14.6 million specimens and artifacts, education programs, exclusive and traveling exhibitions and a vibrant website, nature.ca.

Media contacts:
Dan Smythe Manager, Media Relations Canadian Museum of Nature [email protected] Laura SutinMedia RelationsCanadian Museum of [email protected]

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Source: Canadian Museum of Nature

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Perry A. Thomasson