Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to Class

From the desk of Kim Gough, Program Developer, Royal BC Museum

The September long-weekend will always remind me of going back to school. The last few days of summer vacation was sometimes filled with dread and sometimes terribly exciting. One of the things I looked forward to were the field trips. Growing up in Alberta, I never had the chance to come to the Royal BC Museum as a student, but many BC school children have. Last year over 20,000 students attended self-guided visits and over 3,000 students attended docent-led programs at the museum. Helmcken House , located in our precinct just to the east of the museum, has been offering school programs since 1942. However this October the pitter-patter of school children’s feet will not be heard in Helmcken House while the museum makes much needed improvements to fire suppression and security in the historic building.

This is also an opportunity for my department to make some changes and improvements to the education programs that we have been offering in Helmcken House. Luckily at the museum, we have another great space for students to experience life in the past – Old Town. The new program I have developed will let kids travel back one hundred years to explore a town and discover how people’s needs were met in their communities.

Old Town at the Royal BC Museum

Our new program will offer children an opportunity to share ideas, ask questions, use their imagination, use their senses and make personal connections to the past. Finding the right type of hands-on engagement is essential to making a memorable experience for the students. I always try to keep in mind the different types of intelligences as described by Howard Gardner and provide an experience for as many of those types as possible. Is there something for those who like math, music, movement, logic? What about those who like to work together, and those who like to work alone? It has been helpful to me as a reminder not just to provide the types of activities that I enjoy.

A school program at the Royal BC Museum

If you aren’t already familiar with Howard Gardner, take a look at his list of nine types of intelligence. What type are you? If you are a school programmer or developer, share your tips for developing hands-on experiences – I’d love to hear them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Royal BC Museum is located in Victoria, British Columbia on Canada's west coast. We preserve BC's human and natural history and share it with the world. How do we do that? That's what this blog is about.

We want to ensure that this forum is family friendly! Any posts that do not meet the below guidelines will be removed:

• We do not allow discriminatory, abusive, hateful or racial comments.
• We do not allow spiteful, prejudiced or graphic comments about any individual or organization.
• We do not allow solicitation by any organization, product or service.