by Anastasia Teasley
“It’s one thing to read about something in a book, but to actually see the bones of that dinosaur, the bones of that sea creature, to see that old car, to touch a geode — that adds dimension to our classroom instruction that we could never replace.” AJC interview with Peggy Cowan , Cartersville City School System
Museums have been a timeless solution to branching beyond the classroom walls, making science and history real in a child’s life. Tellus Museum offers programs for students, and even home schoolers and scouts, to benefit from the number of educational resources they have at hand.
Tellus has developed age- or grade-specific programs for field trip visits. Their Web site provides in-depth descriptions of the programs for each level, as well as the correlating activities that go with the theme of that program. The programs start at the Pre-K level, and extend through college-appropriate programs. Schools are provided with a number of program choices, depending on the level. Each program correlates to specific curriculum needs based on the Georgia Performance Standards.
The choices available to schools revolve around Tellus’s four galleries. It’s Alive, hosted in the Collins Family My Big Back Yard Gallery, for example, looks into insect life with younger children. Pre-K and Kindergarten children spend time in the gallery and in a lab, as well as singing and dancing in a theater and exploring other kid-approved biology topics. More advanced topics in other galleries include matter (which, of course, includes experimentation with liquid nitrogen), energy, magnets and galaxy studies for first through fifth graders. High school and college students can dive into topics like alternative energy, geology and periodic table programs. These programs run between an hour and a half to two hours, and each student takes home a souvenir of their day at Tellus!
Programs and scheduling can be found at http://www.tellusmuseum.org/education/fieldtrip.htm.
Home School Programs
Two Tuesdays a month, Tellus opens its doors with special programs designed specifically for home school students. The programs are suited for all ages and touch on a variety of science topics. The Web site features a table with schedules of each program. Like the field trip options, programs range from mineral testing to magnets, weather and more! To view the program options for your home school student visit http://www.tellusmuseum.org/education/homeschool.htm or call 770- 606-5699.
Programs for Scouts
Tellus Museum provides unique opportunities for scouts to get their hands on science…and earn a badge while they’re at it! The museum lays out specific requirements for a scout’s badge or pin and then demonstrates how to fulfill that requirement. Boy Scouts attending the Farming for Fuels event on November 7th will earn their Energy Merit Badge. Also in November is the Night Sky event for the Girl Scout Council (juniors through ambassadors). This program fulfills requirements in meteorology.
Next year’s schedule has already been posted through the month of April. In January, Webelos and Cub Scouts can earn their geologist activity badge or pin, and in March, Brownie Girl Scouts will be able to achieve their Science Wonder badge. There are other events posted online, and Tellus encourages scout councils to check their website periodically to find their upcoming events: http://www.tellusmuseum.org/education/scouts.html.
Rockin’ Rollers is a program designed for outreach outside of Tellus Museum. Educators at Tellus have put together themed roller suitcases containing special “touch friendly” hand specimens for the classroom. The suitcases are designed to teach students mineral, fossil and rock identification. Teachers can check out the suitcase for a week! To reserve a suitcase (with a $50 refundable deposit per roller), call Kerry Cornwell at 770-606-5717.
For adults wanting to expand their educational horizons in science, Tellus offers a lecture series featuring special guest speakers. The lectures are included in the price of admission, and topics in the past have addressed gold in Georgia, geography of the Grand Canyon, and the construction of Tellus’s grand dinosaur skeletons! Speakers have included biologists, paleontologists, geologists and other professionals from a variety of backgrounds.
The next lecture will be “Treasure Hunt”: The Search and Recovery of the S.S. Central America featuring treasure hunter Lance McAfee on Thursday, November 5th at 7pm. For current information about the educational programs at Tellus, check out www.tellusmuseum.org.
For a printable copy of this article by Anastasia Teasley, click here.